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New Court Show Part of Telepictures ’08 Slate

Jun 24, 2007  •  Post A Comment

The 2008 syndicated programming development season is fully under way, with a couple of court shows, some talk shows and a game show in the offing.
Telepictures, which has the most projects in its hopper, has officially completed a court show pilot with former Westchester County district attorney Jeanine Pirro serving as judge for the proceedings, according to sources close to the project. The company last year had signed Ms. Pirro to a deal to preside over “Celebrity Jury,” which never moved forward. However, the company was high enough on Ms. Pirro to develop another project around her, and reportedly is paying her about $1 million to work on television.
Taping of the pilot took place last month. If the series moves forward, it would add another title to Telepictures’ and distributor Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution’s court docket, which includes veterans “The People’s Court” and “Judge Greg Mathis.”
Telepictures also currently has a deal in place with, among others, actress-comedian Bonnie Hunt, and has been actively wooing both Rosie O’Donnell and Steve Harvey for new 2008 series as well. A Telepictures representative said the company does not comment on internal development.
The other suitor for Mr. Harvey, Twentieth Television, also is active in the syndication marketplace for 2008. The company recently signed a deal with Reveille to produce a series entitled “The Mom Show,” which aims to bring together celebrities and authorities in the field of parenting to examine family topics and share the latest trends in cooking, fashion, fitness and finances.
“With moms making up a significant portion of daytime audiences, this advertiser-friendly show will be a viewing destination for females of all ages desiring relevant and topical news, advice and inspiration,” said Bob Cook, Twentieth Television president and chief operating officer.
In addition, “The Mom Show” will feature an interactive Web site complementing the topics of each day’s show. The site will offer additional information, resources, links and community boards for mothers to interact with each other.
NBC Universal is on deck with the daytime version of “Deal or No Deal” after signing Howie Mandel, host of the prime-time version, to host the syndicated strip version as well. The upcoming series will be shot on the set of NBC’s prime-time version and executive produced by Scott St. John, who also serves as showrunner for the NBC series, production sources said. In addition, most of the prime-time production team will work on the strip. The syndication duties will not affect Mr. Mandel’s hosting duties on the prime-time version.
For NBC Universal, the deal represents a coup. “Deal or No Deal” ranked as one of the network’s biggest hits this season and comes to syndication pre-branded and with a household name at the helm — two elements that can drive up interest and dollars from stations.
CBS, meanwhile, just secured the services of Judge Larry Seidlin, best known for presiding over the Anna Nicole Smith paternity case. However, despite reports, no pilot is being shot for him at this time. Sources said any taping done would be more along the lines of a screen test.
Should CBS move ahead with development, the series would join the likes of “Judge Judy” and “Judge Joe Brown” on the company’s roster.
“It’s surprising that with so many court shows on the air, you have two major syndicators still looking to the genre for the fall of 2008,” said Bill Carroll, VP and director of programming at Katz Media.

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