Moriarity Takes on ‘Tyra Banks’

Jun 27, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Former “Jenny Jones” and “The Sharon Osbourne Show” executive producer Kerrie Moriarity has been tapped to executive produce Telepictures Productions’ fall 2005 syndicated talk strip “The Tyra Banks Show.”

Her hiring is in line with plans to go after a younger female audience and to tackle a wide range of topics, said Hilary Estey McLoughlin, executive VP and general manager of Telepictures Productions.

“Tyra will be talking about fashion, lifestyle, makeovers and also doing topical news stories,” Ms. Estey McLoughlin said. “We’re going to have a lot of out-of-studio segments as well. We’ll tell emotional and compelling stories.”

Besides having celebrity interviews, the show will have segments in which celebrities interact with everyday people. But Ms. Estey McLoughlin said at its core the show will cover issues that 25- to 35-year-old women are interested in-things like starting their careers, getting married and starting a family.

“Tyra is going through that journey herself,” she said of the supermodel-turned-host-and-television producer, “so she will do it with her audience.”

Ms. Moriarity, who launched her career as a production assistant on a local Pittsburgh talk show on WTAE-TV, first worked in syndication as a producer on “The Sally Jessy Raphael Show.” She also worked for Telepictures in 1993 as a producer on “The Jenny Jones Show.” Starting in 2000 Ms. Moriarity was executive producer of “Jenny,” a position she held for three years until she went to “Sharon Osbourne” in 2003 as a consulting executive producer.

On “Tyra,” she joins Tyra Banks and Benny Medina as executive producers. The show is being produced by Ms. Bank’s Bankable Productions and Handprint Entertainment in association with Telepictures.

Ms. Moriarty has the experience “Tyra” needs to bring in the demographic the studio is targeting, primarily women 25 to 35, Ms. Estey McLoughlin said.

“They watch a lot of shows,” she said of the target audience, “but there is not one show targeting their sensibilities with stories that relate to them.”

That’s where Ms. Moriarity comes in. “She’s very effective in targeting young audiences, and has a great sense about how to make shows entertaining,” Ms. Estey McLoughlin said.

In particular, she pointed to Ms. Moriarity’s work on “Jenny,” a show that increased its young women viewers over its 12-year run.

“It constantly reinvented and tapped into pop culture and young, female-related topics,” Ms. Estey McLoughlin said of “Jenny.” “It became a very young-skewing, successful, long running show with an ability to attract young women, which is exactly what we are trying to do with ‘Tyra.'”

While working on “Sharon,” Ms. Moriarity was involved with many of the show’s celebrity segments, Ms. Estey McLoughlin said. “She did a really good job for us shaping that show,” she said.

“Tyra,” Telepictures’ only new strip for the 2005-06 season, is one of few new offerings in the syndicated marketplace. Besides “Tyra,” which in January announced the Fox owned-and-operated stations as a launch group, new strips premiering in the fall include NBC Universal’s style/talk project “Martha” with Martha Stewart, which is being executive produced by Ms. Stewart, prolific reality producer Mark Burnett and co-executive produced by Rob Dauber.

Twentieth Television will debut its new courtroom show “Judge Alex,” with Karen Melamed, Burt Wheeler and Sharon Sussman executive producing. Twentieth will also roll out nationally the latest incarnation of the newsmagazine “A Current Affair,” which is currently airing on selected Fox owned-and-operated stations and is being produced by the show’s creator, Peter Brennan, and John Tomlin. Major syndicators Paramount, Sony, Tribune and King World have no new strips scheduled to premiere this fall.

“Tyra” will begin production later this summer, although the show is currently shooting test shows, Ms. Estey McLouglin said.

“Right now we’re honing the show technically,” she said, but added that the elements that will make up “Tyra” have been identified.

“In terms of the show and what it’s shaping up to be, it’s really a broad umbrella to do lots of things,” she said. “But at its heart it’s about real women with real issues.”