Courtroom shows have been successful for Tribune Broadcasting stations and programming boss Sean Compton wants Tribune to have more control of its own programming. That may all come together in a pilot series featuring an in-house legal personality from WPIX, Lionel.
Tribune Broadcasting is continuing efforts to reassert itself as a major player in syndicated television. This time it is teaming up again with ITV Studios America to shoot seven pilot episodes of a courtroom series.
Sitting behind the bench is Lionel, whose real name is Michael William Lebron, an attorney who regularly appears on Tribune’s WPIX New York as a morning show co-host and evening news commentator. He formerly hosted Snap Judgment on Court TV and was a radio talk show host on the defunct Air America liberal network, although Lionel is known to have a libertarian streak.
Lionel’s courtroom series is being championed by Tribune Broadcasting President of Programming Sean Compton, who wants to see Tribune have more control of its own programming and sees Lionel fitting with the group’s conflict talk lineup, including other court shows.
Compton also backed Tribune’s previous venture with ITV, The Bill Cunningham Show, which now airs afternoons on The CW, including Tribune’s largest market stations.
In addition to Tribune and ITV, the Lionel pilots are the work of Bob Cook, formerly of Twentieth Television and now a strategic advisor to Tribune Broadcasting, and Scott Sternberg Productions.
If Lionel courtroom show is a go after the pilots are tested, Tribune will roll it out for either 2013 or 2014.
Tribune Broadcasting earlier partnered with CBS Television Distribution for a late-night syndicated talker staring Arsenio Hall. It will begin airing yet this year.