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Regional rollout appeal

Feb 17, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Twentieth Television, which successfully launched “Texas Justice,” “Good Day Live” and “Ex-treme Dating” on a national platform after trial regional rollouts, has plans to continue its test pattern.
Sources said that the syndicator has several series in the works but may be leaning toward the tentatively titled “ClassmatesTV” as one series that could move forward in test markets as early as the summer.
The potential strip derives from the popular Web site Classmates.com and would, in theory, combine elements of The WB hit reality series “High School Reunion” and syndicated staple “Blind Date.” The series would follow classmates who have lost touch after graduation as they travel across the country to be reunited. Cameras would follow as the participants reclaim their relationship (friendly or otherwise). Details of the two individuals’ stories will be given.
A Twentieth spokesperson would not comment on development speculation.
Matthew Papish is on board as executive producer, according to sources. His executive producer credits include syndicated series such as “Blind Date” and “Rendez-View,” FX series “Fast Food Films” and the short film “Waiting for Woody.”
Twentieth Television has shifted its launch strategy in recent years to a combination of national and regional launches for its new programs. “Texas Justice” originally was cleared for a 13-week test run on six of the southern Fox owned-and-operated stations before adding clearances and launching nationally in January 2002. The series now ranks in households as the top strip from the 2001-02 season, earning a 2.4 rating.
After slow rollouts the distributor launched “Good Day Live” nationally last month and has “Ex-treme Dating” ready for a June launch. The company also launched “Rob Nelson” straight into a national platform last fall, though the series has since been canceled.