‘Live’ in Temporary Digs After WABC Fire

May 29, 2007  •  Post A Comment

“Live With Regis and Kelly” is broadcasting this week from a hastily outfitted “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” set while WABC-TV repairs damage to the “Live” set and other areas from a Sunday night fire that knocked ABC’s flagship New York station off the air late Saturday night.
“Millionaire” is dark and its set had been stripped of everything, including lights, except for the risers for audience seating.
The apparent start of the fire was a light that burst and set a curtain on fire. The fire was out within a couple of hours, according to accounts, but the station facility sustained a great deal of smoke and water damage.
WABC-TV was back on the air by early Sunday morning, with its news team operating from the newsroom instead of its usual set, located just behind the terrace background for the “Live” set.
It took a lot more work to get “Live” rigged so its show could go on.
Executive producer Michael Gelman didn’t want to use a taped “evergreen” show because the show scheduled for Tuesday had “very timely, great bookings” with Kevin Costner, new “American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks and an audience full of servicemen at the close of Fleet Week.
With a great deal of help from WABC-TV President and General Manager Dave Davis and crews working over the Memorial Day weekend, the studio was outfitted with everything from a rear-screen projection of “Live’s” terrace backdrop to lights that were finished at 3 a.m. Tuesday morning,
No further adjustments will be required for this week’s shows, said Mr. Gelman. However, next week’s shows feature performances from Broadway productions every day in the run-up to the Tony Awards. Because the “Millionaire” studio is smaller than “Live’s” digs, if the daytime show is still unable to return home, Mr. Gelman may have to find a way to accommodate the Broadway acts.
“We not going to cancel these people,” Mr. Gelman said.
(Editor: Horowitz)


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