Paige Davis Project Still Mulled


Rachael Ray’s new syndicated talk show does not necessarily mean the end of the road for the rumored project for Trading Spaces host Paige Davis.

According to Terry Wood, president of creative affairs and development for King World and Paramount Domestic Television, the right vehicle for a Davis show is still being explored. Also being considered was a project with well-liked interior designer Nate Berkus, but sources told B&C recently that Harpo believes Berkus is not ready to carry his own show yet.

“This decision wasn’t either Rachael or Paige or Nate, one doesn't preclude the other,” says Wood. “We’re still developing with Paige.”

As previously reported, Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions, King World and Scripps Networks will band together to produce a new daily syndicated talk show starring Rachael Ray, the host of a few cooking shows on the Scripps-owned Food Network. It has not been decided whether the show will air on the Food Network.

The project is the first for King World since Wood was promoted to her new position. It is also the first personality-driven show Winfrey will launch since Dr. Phil. Ray will appear more often on Oprah this season in advance of the new show’s debut next fall. “Oprah’s goal is to get [Ray] on as much as she can,” Wood says.

Wood also says she is not put off by the modest beginning for NBC Universal’s Martha Stewart syndicated talker.

“She’s not trying to do Martha’s show,” Wood says. “The comparisons will be there, but Rachael’s been called the anti-Martha. Rachael doesn’t always try to be the authority. It’s a ‘can-do’ show on a variety of topics.”

Ray has 10 cookbooks on the market and her new magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, debuts next month.