Walsh Adds Locals

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Starting its second season, NBC Enterprises' The John Walsh Show is adding a regular feature spotlighting the investigative news efforts of many of the show's station partners.

Called the I-Team, the segment showcases in-depth stories by station news teams. The feature might add some new interest to the show, which ranked 83rd among all syndicated shows in its first year, with a thin 1.3 Nielsen household rating.

"We show these stories to a national audience because sometimes they translate beyond their local market," says executive producer Alexandra Jewett. "We invite people who are part of that story here to the studio."

In one case, investigative reporter Deborah Sherman of NBC-owned WTVJ-TV Miami, talks about a story she did about a surgeon's mistake that paralyzed a woman. When the woman sued her doctor for malpractice, he declared bankruptcy and announced he had no malpractice insurance. Walsh had the woman and her daughter, who takes care of her, on the show via satellite from their home, while Sherman was in the studio with Walsh.

The show also features a story by investigative reporter Ana Garcia, of NBC-owned KNBC-TV Los Angeles, who discovered that a Girl Scout troop leader was married to a convicted sex offender, upsetting parents whose daughters had attended meetings in the couple's home.

The episode airs Sept. 17.

Among other new features, Walsh is spending the anniversary of 9/11 with the some of the victims' families at Dollywood with Dolly Parton.

The show will lighten up a bit. He will host CNN's Larry King, on whose show he is a frequent guest. And he will chat with the family from NBC prime time reality show Who Wants To Marry My Dad.

Still, Walsh won't stray too far from his roots in the gritty and fact-based. On Wednesday, the show will have a news exclusive with several women held captive as sex slaves in Syracuse, N.Y., by John Jamelske, who pleaded guilty and was sentenced in July to 18 years to life in prison.

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