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Carson vet McCawley leads prod’n for ‘Vicki!’

Jim McCawley, a former co-producer of “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” will take over the vacant supervising producer chores for Group W Prods.’ “Vicki!” when the series resumes production for its second season on Tuesday.

Host Vicki Lawrence, who now serves as an exec producer of the series along with Nancy Alspaugh-Jackson, was involved in McCawley’s selection. He will oversee the show’s day-to-day production.

One of Lawrence’s complaints during her May sweeps walkout from the show was that she didn’t have enough say in how the program was run.

Lawrence had a stormy relationship with the last supervising producer, Ray Giuliani, who was eased into another position with Group W after the host briefly threatened to take her gripes about him to the rival “Geraldo” talker.

Following Lawrence’s much-publicized showdown later in the season with Group W, the production and syndication company offered Lawrence more creative control over the syndie strip.

During his stint with “Tonight,” McCawley oversaw the selection of comedians and performers. Lawrence was reportedly irritated last season when producers often overbooked guests.

“Vicki!” is cleared in 174 markets covering 95% of the U.S., with the second season slated to begin airing Sept. 13.

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