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‘Queer Eye’ Team Tackles Women Next

Nov 17, 2003  •  Post A Comment

The creators of Bravo hit “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” are turning their attention to the ladies.
NBC Enterprises and “Queer Eye” producer Scout Productions have agreed to develop “Gal Pals” for syndication in fall 2004. The half-hour stripped series would follow another team of five gay men with expertise in fitness, hair and clothing who help straight women spice up their image.
Although the show is not deemed to be a spinoff of the “Queer Eye” hit, which begins new episodes on NBC-owned Bravo this week, it’s clear that NBC executives hope the results will be the same. The series will become the third NBC-produced makeover show being developed for the fall 2004 season (TelevisionWeek, Oct. 27).
“Gal Pals” will join “Nobody’s Perfect” and “You Better Be Ready” under the NBC Enterprises banner. In addition, Universal Television, which would have merged with NBC before the start of next season, is developing another strip for the genre from “Trading Spaces” producer Denise Cramsey.
“Nobody’s Perfect” comes from MTV maven Bob Kusbit, who executive produced a slew of hits on the cable channel, including “TRL,” “Made” and “Camp Jim.” NBC executives describe the series as a half-hour makeover show that isn’t just about hair and makeup. Makeover subjects are nominated by friends or relatives.
Already announced had been “You Better Be Ready” from QVC hosts Nick Chavez and Stacey Schieffelin. The series pilot was shot in Burbank, Calif., at the beginning of November.
Sources said NBC will likely move forward on two of the half-hour makeover strips should time slots become available on the NBC O&Os. NBC Enterprises has already cleared a Jane Pauley talk show for the fall, and according to sources, the stations are likely to renew freshman strip “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” next month. “Ellen” distributor Telepictures noted that the series has boosted the station group’s time period performance by 70 percent among women 18 to 49 and 100 percent among women 25 to 54.
Despite a slow start for freshman “Starting Over,” the strip has seen a slow build since its debut on the NBC-owned stations.
“We have been very pleased with the growth of `Starting Over,’ especially in the female demos,” said Ed Wilson, president of NBC Enterprises. “We are still evaluating, however, whether the show is a keeper, and with these pilots we’ve got alternatives.”
A quick survey among syndication executives indicated that as many as seven hours a day could open up in markets around the country next fall, though some of those time periods have already been committed to incoming series such as “Jane Pauley” and Paramount’s “The Insider.”
Among the other series being developed in syndication for fall 2004 are Buena Vista’s Tony Danza talk show; Sony’s “Life & Style” and a strip featuring Pat Croce; Tribune’s Jamie White and Melissa Rivers projects; and Universal’s Lynda Lopez talk show from executive producer Jennifer Lopez.