The first Geraldo Rivera spec following the demise of last season’s strip “Now It Can Be Told” will premiere in January.

Production has begun on “The New Godfathers,” a live two-hour investigative crime spec that Tribune Entertainment has so far cleared in 51 markets representing 55% of the country.

The program, which has been licensed in seven of the top-10 markets (including the Tribune Broadcasting stations), will mark the first of what may be four quarterly spex a year–if the first edition, slated for a Jan. 20 air date, performs well in the ratings.

When Trib canceled “Told,” it promised to bring back the series in specials form. The distrib would not rule out the possibility of bringing the program back to series if the specials work, but many in the TV industry consider a revival of the strip unlikely.

Rivera has scored big ratings in the past for his live prime time expeditions , the most memorable being the all-time numbers grabber, the opening of Al Capone’s vault.

John Parsons, who served as a production consultant to “Told,” has been named exec producer of “The New Godfathers.”

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