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Buena Vista Signs Danza for Talk Show

Nov 10, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Buena Vista has pinned down its fall 2004 entry in the syndication game, signing Tony Danza to host a daytime talk show.
The hour-long strip is described as a celebrity-driven talk show that will showcase Mr. Danza’s connection with everyday people through a mix of interviews, human interest stories and the occasional song and dance from the star of hit TV series and the Broadway stage.
“Tony Danza is a longtime favorite in American entertainment,” said Janice Marinelli, president of Buena Vista Television. “He’s very likable and resonates with today’s audiences, particularly women, which really is the keystone to success in daytime television. We are thrilled to be taking the Tony Danza show to the syndication marketplace.”
“We’re developing a show that blends celebrity conversations with memorable slice-of-life stories. Tony’s natural warmth and connection with everyday people make him a perfect fit for the daytime audience,” added Holly Jacobs, executive VP of Buena Vista Productions. “I believe Tony is the kind of man with whom women will want to spend an hour of their day.”
Mr. Danza is best known for his roles in the TV series “Taxi” and “Who’s the Boss?” In addition, Mr. Danza has achieved success on the stage with a performance-based show tour and roles on Broadway, including Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh” and Arthur Miller’s “A View From the Bridge,” and he has a newly released debut album, “The House I Live In.”
“For the last eight years I have been touring the country with my live act, and it seems as if I have been in training for [a talk show],” said Mr. Danza. “I am humbled and excited that Buena Vista believes I can do it-and I can’t wait to spend an hour a day with America.”
Danza Trumps Brady?
Daytime and syndication analysts were quick to speculate that Mr. Danza’s project would replace Buena Vista’s struggling “The Wayne Brady Show.”
However, company executives said no decisions would be made on the future of the series until after the November book is over, and the hope was that both series would be on the air next fall.
“There are a number of first-run syndicated shows on the bubble, so we see the potential for good opportunity in the marketplace,” said Ms. Marinelli. “It’s our hope that come fall ’04, the new Tony Danza show will join `Wayne Brady’ and `Live With Regis and Kelly’ as part of Buena Vista television’s roster of daytime talk shows.”
The deal was packaged by William Morris, which also represents Mr. Danza.