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Studios Eye Dickinson for Syndie

May 4, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Emblematic of the shift toward established brands among syndicated programmers, multiple studios are in discussions with Janice Dickinson to host a talk show for a 2009 debut.
In addition, Oxygen just picked up the former “America’s Next Top Model” judge’s reality show for a fourth season.
Ms. Dickinson, whose presence helped propel “America’s Next Top Model” to ratings success in broadcast, has enjoyed continued ratings growth with her Oxygen series, “The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency.” In fact, the “world’s first supermodel’s” reality series debuted as the channel’s highest-rated premiere ever and has since increased its audience with every cycle; the latest season rose 4% and propelled Oxygen to its most successful March to date, boosting younger demos to highs as well.
“Janice is a dynamo—she is opinionated, talented and energetic and our young, trendy audience loves her,” said Amy Introcaso-Davis, senior VP of original programming and development at Oxygen.
In addition to four seasons on “Top Model” and three on “Agency,” Ms. Dickinson also has been seen in series such as “Abbey & Janice: Beauty and the Best,” “The Surreal Life” and the U.K. reality television show “I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here!” In addition to her modeling work, she is also a photographer, agent, author and actress.
In syndication, Ms. Dickinson’s presence would boost a growing lineup of powerhouse talent in the mix for 2009 season syndication deals.
On the horizon aside from Ms. Dickinson’s project are talk shows being developed by Telepictures for Food Channel star Paula Deen and by Program Partners for Marie Osmond; a Donald Trump project from Twentieth Television; a daytime version of “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” with Jeff Foxworthy (likely from either Twentieth or Debmar-Mercury); and the “Oprah” spinoff “Dr. Oz,” backed by Harpo Productions. In addition, CBS reportedly is mulling a vehicle for Valerie Bertinelli while Sony is looking at Marissa Jaret Winokur and Debmar-Mercury has signed a deal with Fox stations to test-run a talk show featuring radio host Wendy Williams. Telepictures also is said to be considering a series based on Momlogic.com, its corporate-sibling news and information Web site for mothers.
Heating Up
In a bold shift in the development cycle, there already are more first-run series in development for 2009 than there are new series with national clearances for fall 2008. Typically, the number of series on deck doesn’t hit such a high number until the summer.
Sources from at least two distributors have confirmed their interest in the Janice Dickinson talk show project. A representative for Ms. Dickinson would not comment on the show.
Ratings in recent years have shown that series featuring widely known names are likely to score higher when they hit syndication. The risk for syndicators is that the costs involved in signing a major name can make any failure financially disastrous. A well-known name can potentially cost a syndicator $8 million per year or more in talent budget alone.

12 Comments

  1. Unfortunately, Ms. Dickinson uses coarse language
    and that would necessitate running anything like that show in syndication at, say, one or two in the morning, with a flag. (I don’t care if she did coin the term “supermodel.” I associate that term with people like Christie Brinkley, Cindy Crawford, and maybe Brooke Shields…who don’t use the kind of language she does in public.

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