TV station execs and station reps say the team behind The Doctors is looking to duplicate its success by developing The Lawyers for a fall 2010 debut.
Stage 29 Productions, which produces The Doctors for CBS Television Distribition, is developing a companion show called The Lawyers for first-run syndication in fall 2010, according to TV station execs and station reps.
Stage 29, which also produces Dr. Phil for CBS, declined comment. Stage 29 is headed by Jay McGraw, son of Dr. Phil host Phil McGraw. CBS also declined comment.
The Lawyers will presumably follow the format of The Doctors, with a panel of hosts advising viewers on legal issues.
Executives who have heard about the show have not seen a pilot and say CBS isn’t formally pitching the show.
“There is buzz building up about it,” says one programming executive. “But you never know; it’s awfully early.”
The Doctors has been a relatively bright spot in first-run syndication.
The show features a panel of doctors who dispense advice to viewers on a range of medical issues. It debuted last season with modest ratings, but built up its audience as the season wore on.
The Doctors is now a solid mid-tier talk show.
For the week ending Sept. 13, when some syndicated talk shows were still airing repeats or a mix of original episodes and repeats, The Doctors ranked No. 5 among first-run talk shows with a 1.8 household rating.
It was up some 38 percent from the same week last year, despite preemptions in some markets this year because of the U.S. Open.
“It’s not surprising that [CBS] would be trying to replicate their success with The Doctors with another area of interest for viewers,” say Bill Carroll, vice president and director of programming at Katz Television Group. “Given that there are probably legal issues that directly affect viewers, it might seem that the law is the next way to go.”