News Briefs

Feb 2, 2004  •  Post A Comment

As expected, Telepictures announced last week the sale of upcoming talk show “The Larry Elder Show” to the Viacom Stations Group for launch this fall. In addition, Telepictures has issued the upcoming series a “firm go.” The Viacom Television Stations Group has licensed the show to air on its duopoly stations in Los Angeles (KCBS-TV and KCAL-TV), Philadelphia (KYW-TV and WPSG-TV), San Francisco (KPIX-TV and KBHK-TV), Boston (WBZ-TV and WSBK-TV), Dallas (KTVT-TV and KTXA-TV), Detroit (WWJ-TV and WKBD-TV), Miami (WFOR-TV and WBFS-TV) and Pittsburgh (KDKA-TV and WNPA-TV), its CBS station in Chicago (WBBM-TV) and its UPN stations in Atlanta (WUPA-TV), Norfolk, Va., (WGNT-TV) and New Orleans (WUPL-TV). New York remains a key player in upcoming negotiations, with many observers awaiting the fate of “Living It Up! With Ali & Jack” and “Martha Stewart Living” to determine time slots that could open for the Telepictures talk show on WCBS-TV.
Gutteridge Joins Fremantle; Lyle Resigns
The American division of Britain’s FremantleMedia saw a shakeup at the top with the appointment of British entertainment veteran Tom Gutteridge to a newly created CEO post. David Lyle, president of entertainment and drama for FremantleMedia North America, has resigned. Mr. Gutteridge, who was most recently at British indie production company Television Corp., will be based in Los Angeles. He will report to Catherine Mackay, FremantleMedia’s regional CEO for the United States, Australasia and Asia.
Walters to Step Down From `20/20′
Barbara Walters, who has been co-anchor and chief correspondent for “20/20,” will step down in September from the ABC News magazine. Ms. Walters, who had more than a year to go on her $7 million-plus contract, will produce more prime-time specials. She currently is committed to four specials a year. She also will continue as a co-host of “The View,” which she created for the ABC daytime lineup and produces through her Barwall Productions. There was no immediate word on how ABC News might deal with Ms. Walters’ absence on “20/20.”
WB 100+ Picks Up `Life & Style’
Sony Pictures Television has cleared upcoming talk show “Life & Style” on The WB 100+ Station Group for its syndicated launch this fall. “It will be a great companion to `The Ellen DeGeneres Show,’ rounding out our `The WB Daytime’ block,” said Lynn Stepanian, senior VP of programming and distribution, The WB 100+ Station Group. Previously, “Life & Style” had been sold into six of the top 10 markets, including Philadelphia and San Francisco.
UPN Books More `Top Model’
UPN has ordered a third and fourth season of “America’s Next Top Model,” the network announced. Last Tuesday’s episode of “Top Model” gave UPN 7.11 million viewers and delivered the network’s best-ever ratings in its time period among women 18 to 34. The executive producers are Ken Mok and Tyra Banks, who also hosts.
ABC Orders `Super Millionaire’
Regis Philbin will head back to ABC prime time this month to host a sweeps event, “Super Millionaire.” Like ABC’s previous “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” which Mr. Philbin hosted, contestants from across the country will try to answer multiple-choice questions for cash, but this time the final question is worth $10,000,000. Michael Davies will executive produce. Celador, which created “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” oversaw the development of the new format. Paul Smith, managing director of Celador Productions, will continue to executive produce alongside Mr. Davies for Diplomatic Television. The first hour-long edition is scheduled to air 9 p.m. (ET) Sunday, Feb. 22. The show will air at 10 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday of that week.