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Hawn, Richie Shop Talk

Apr 14, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Goldie Hawn, whose last regular appearance on TV was on the seminal ’60s comedy Laugh-In, and musical legend Lionel Richie, who recently appeared on American Idol, are among the latest celebrities seeking to leverage fame with lucrative syndicated talk shows.
In addition, the Food Network’s popular duo of Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, the stars of Too Hot Tamales, are said to be closing in on a deal with Buena Vista for a syndicated talk show.
With the coming syndication season featuring such high-profile names as Ellen DeGeneres and Sharon Osbourne, a slew of other celebrities are shopping projects. Among those already developing shows or in negotiations are American Idol host Ryan Seacrest and actresses Brett Butler and Sheryl Lee Ralph.
Now Ms. Hawn may be mulling a foray into the television world, according to sources. The move would return her to a regular slot on the small screen for the first time since Laugh-In ended in 1970. Since winning an Oscar as best supporting actress in 1969 for her role in Cactus Flower, Ms. Hawn has worked consistently in movies. Her biggest hits include Shampoo, Private Benjamin and The First Wives Club. She also found some success last year with The Banger Sisters, which co-starred Susan Sarandon.
Ms. Hawn’s agents at Creative Artists Agency are meeting with development executives at the studios to discuss launching a 2004 strip for daytime television. “She clearly brings a lot to the table, [with] both her humor and background,” said one executive who met with Ms. Hawn’s representatives. “It’s a matter of finding the right format to fit station needs to make her series a success.”
Joining the fray for a potential syndicated project, according to numerous distribution sources, is Lionel Richie, also represented by CAA. Recently seen trading barbs with Simon on American Idol, Mr. Richie is a five-time Grammy winner who has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide and recorded nine No. 1 pop hits. Mr. Richie’s streak in the ’80s, when for nine consecutive years he had No. 1 songs on the charts, is matched only by Irving Berlin. Three Times A Lady, Still and Endless Love are among some of Mr. Richie’s hits.
A spokesperson at CAA denied that a show was “proactively” in the works for either Ms. Hawn or Mr. Richie.
Mr. Ritchie’s daughter, Nicole Richie, will join Paris Hilton as stars of upcoming CBS reality series The Simple Life.
Buena Vista Television is said to be closing in on a deal with Ms. Milliken and Ms. Feniger, hosts of Too Hot Tamales and internationally acclaimed chefs who run the Border Grill restaurants in Santa Monica and Pasadena, Calif., and Las Vegas.
The strip would target a fall 2004 launch date and aim to continue the success the duo has found on cable, where they have done 396 episodes of the popular Too Hot Tamales and Tamales World Tour programs for Food Network. They are authors of five cookbooks (four dedicated to the Latin kitchen) as well as radio hosts of the Hot Dish feature, heard in L.A. on KFWB-AM.
A Buena Vista spokesperson would not comment. However, sources said, the Too Hot Tamales stars will join Ms. Ralph on Buena Vista’s development plate.
As for the current season, three distributors have updated their clearance lists. NBC Enterprises’ new first-run reality strip Starting Over has been cleared in over 80 percent of the United States for the 2003-04 season. The series, from Bunim-Murray Productions, the producers of long-running reality programs The Real World and Road Rules, has now been sold in 29 of the top 30 markets and 46 of the top 50.
Starting Over has been sold to affiliates of all four major broadcast networks, and recent clearances for the show include KPNX-TV, Phoenix (NBC), KMGH-TV, Denver (ABC), WXIX-TV, Cincinnati (Fox) and WLKY-TV, Louisville, Ky., (CBS). The NBC owned-and-operated stations as well as stations from Hearst-Argyle, Gannett and many other major station groups have already signed on for Starting Over. Major market clearances include WNBC-TV (New York), KNBC-TV (Los Angeles), WMAQ-TV (Chicago).
The Fox television stations have acquired Universal Domestic Television’s Crossing Over With John Edward for fall 2003, as the strip prepares to enter its third season in national broadcast syndication. UDT President Steve Rosenberg made the announcement today.
“As an independent supplier in a competitive environment, it is very gratifying to get to a third season and to have a top-tier station group like Fox expand its commitment to Crossing Over, Mr. Rosenberg said. “We are both looking to duplicate the success Fox has enjoyed this season in New York on all of its major market stations around the country. John is truly a unique talent who has captivated audiences, and we are very pleased that Fox has provided us with this tremendous vote of confidence.”
The Fox stations, covering nine of the top 20 markets, will serve as the core broadcast group for Crossing Over. Fox stations are WNYW-TV/WWOR-TV, New York, KTTV/KCOP-TV, Los Angeles, WPWR-TV/WFLD-TV, Chicago, WTXF-TV, Philadelphia, KDFW-TV/KDFI-TV, Dallas, WTTG-TV/WDCA-TV, Washington, KTXH-TV/KRIV-TV, Houston, KSAZ-TV/KUTP-TV, Phoenix and WOLF-TV/WRBW-TV, Orlando, Fla.
Sales for the 2003-04 season of Tribune’s Family Feud have reached 90 percent of the U.S., with Tribune selling or renewing the series in 142 markets throughout the United States. Stations that have picked up the fifth season of the first-run strip include: KICU-TV, San Francisco (IND), WKYC-TV, Cleveland (NBC), WISH-TV Indianapolis (CBS), WCNC-TV, Charlotte (NBC), KASW-TV (WB)/KTVK-TV, Phoenix, WGRZ-TV, Buffalo (NBC), and WCHS-TV Charleston, S.C. (ABC).