Game strip Family Feud
gets a new host next season: Richard Karn, who played Al the carpenter in "Tool Time," the show-within-a-show on sitcom Home Improvement.
He'll replace Louie Anderson, who has an agreement with Feud
producer FremantleMedia Productions to develop other shows. The switch is part of what Fremantle Entertainment President David Lyle calls an effort to give Feud
"a new lease on life. We felt the show had stalled a bit in the ratings." Karn, he says, has a "warmth" that comes across on screen, "and he gets on with people." In any case, Feud, distributed by Tribune Entertainment, has been renewed for next year and is cleared in 125 markets (80% of the U.S.), including 47 of the top 50 markets.
co-host Meredith Vieira will host the syndicated version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, debuting this September. She signed on for an initial three-year stint and also re-upped for another five years at The View. Some station executives who have bought the show were surprised by the announcement; they had expected a young male comic. According to executive producer Michael Davies, though, that was never in the works. "Being a comic isn't enough," he says, adding that someone with "weight, credibility and authority" is needed when you're potentially giving away a million bucks each day. One difference in the syndicated version: Instead of playing the "fastest finger" round to get to the hot seat, contestants will be preselected to bring greater diversity among those who play.
New weekly series Livin' Large
has been cleared in 170 markets, covering 96% of the U.S. The one-hour lifestyle magazine is produced by Heritage Networks in association with Dick Clark Productions and Basic Elements and is syndicated by Carsey-Werner Entertainment. Hosted by Carmen Electra and Kadeem Hardison, the program is described as a younger, hipper version of Lifestyles of the
Rich and Famous.