Dr. Steve Perry, Mel Robbins, Angie Martinez (above), Jaime Pressly, Finesse Mitchell, Tamron Hall, Kelly Clarkson and RuPaul are among those who are said to be working on first-run syndication projects.
Face the Truth, the new panel talk show featuring Vivica A. Fox from CBS Television Distribution, made its national broadcast syndication debut on Monday.
And the truth is the CBS Television Distribution entry represents exactly half the new first-run shows from Hollywood this fall. The other half, Caught in Providence, a low-budget, barter show from Liongate’s Debmar-Mercury bows on Sept. 24.
The tiny Class of 2018 has had the syndication set chattering about end times for major first-run shows from Hollywood.
But such talk may be premature, it turns out. All the big studios as well as Debmar-Mercury and Endemol Shine are cooking up shows for debuts in 2019 or possibly 2020.
The latest projects to emerge come from CBS Television Distribution, Sony Pictures Television, Endemol Shine and Debmar-Mercury.
As it awaits the viewers’ verdict on Face the Truth, CBS is working on another talk show, a vehicle for commentator Dr. Steve Perry, whose website describes him as “America’s Educator.”
He ran a publicly funded preparatory school in Hartford, Conn., for several years and appears frequently on radio and TV talking about educational policy, student engagement, personal responsibility and social awareness.
How that all translates to daytime syndication remains to be seen. CBS is not commenting.
Sony is building its syndication hopes on Melanie “Mel” Robbins, who leveraged her Boston College law degree to become a legal analyst for CNN, according to broadcast sources.
She is also a relationship expert, author, life coach and former radio personality with a eponymous show for the Cox Media Group. She has published a couple of self-help books and her 2011 TEDx Talk, “How to Stop Screwing Yourself Over,” has so far attracted more than 15.4 million viewers.
Edemol Shine announced at NATPE 2017 that it had a development deal with radio personality and rapper Angie Martinez that would explore scripted and unscripted shows for all TV media.
So far, that effort seems to have crystalized in the form of a show for broadcast syndication, broadcast sources say.
The highly rated The Angie Martinez Show airs on iHeartMedia’s WWPR-FM (Power 105.1) New York. She has two rap albums to her credit. She was nominated for a Grammy in 1998.
Debmar-Mercury is developing a show with Jaime Pressly and Finesse Mitchell, the broadcast sources say.
Pressly is best known for her role as Joy Turner on the NBC sitcom My Name is Earl (2005-09). Mitchell is a comic who spent three seasons (2003-06) as a cast member on NBC’s Saturday Night Live.
As previously reported, NBC is developing a talk show with pop star and The Voice judge Kelly Clarkson, and Disney/ABC is hoping to strike syndication gold with former Today show star Tamron Hall.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution has shot a pilot for a talk show hosted by RuPaul, whose Wikipedia entry describes him as an “American drag queen, actor, model, singer, songwriter, television personality and author.”
Warner Bros. is not saying much about the show except that RuPaul will not do the show in drag.
The Fox station group tested several shows this summer and found two that programming chief Frank Cicha thought were promising.
The Hustle, produced by Telepictures and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, is a collection of videos selected for their outrageousness or shock value rather than for humor or sentimentally. It ran on eight stations in late July and early August.
Meredith Vierra, who managed only two seasons (2014-16) as the host of her own NBCU-distributed talk show, auditioned a game show, 25 Words or Less, on the Fox stations for three weeks this month in nine markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia.
No word yet whether Cicha will pick up the shows and boost them into national distribution.