In a deal that brings together Viacom's two syndication divisions for the first time, Paramount Domestic Television and King World have signed on to produce and distribute a talk show with Dr. Phil McGraw-a regular on Oprah Winfrey's daytime talk show.
Sources say Winfrey's Harpo Productions is is co-producing the show for fall 2002 with Paramount. King World, which has the distribution rights to Winfrey's long-running talk show through 2004, will handle the distribution on McGraw's show. McGraw is a regular guest on Winfrey's show each Tuesday and is also a best-selling author.
Sources say the show will not be allowed to run against Winfrey's show in syndication. A number of top syndication companies met with Winfrey and Harpo executives over the last few weeks in an attempt to get the syndication rights, sources say including Warner Bros. and Columbia TriStar. Paramount, Harpo and King World executives had no comment. - Joe Schlosser