‘Clever Cleaver Bros.’ look for home at NATPE

For station exex looking for a little morning relief from what must seem like an endless exhibition floor of talkshows, MG/Perin Inc. has “The Clever Cleaver Brothers,” a half-hour strip that can best be described as Hans and Franz meets the Galloping Gourmet.

The show’s stars are Steve and Lee, two totally pumped-up regular Joes who happen to be alumni of Rhode Island’s Johnson & Wales cooking school.

As they prepare dishes that adhere to their cooking philosophy of SEE (simple, elegant, easy), the two Connecticut natives do schtick.

In one exchange, the chefs (who could easily pass for runaways from “The Uncle Floyd Show”) do prep work for a “semi-formal” dinner. As the two stand in front of their range wearing bow ties, tuxedo trousers, and cummerbunds–but no shirts–they make quips about deep-fat frying. Ouch.

Susan Winston, former exec producer of “Good Morning America” and currently Steve and Lee’s handler, found the physical fitness enthusiasts when they were doing a local show in San Diego. They have become favorite guests of many morning shows.

Even so, most reps have dismissed them. Though they have yet to clear any major markets, syndicator Richard Perin — a regular NATPE attraction in his own right — remains optimistic about the Cleavers. He feels they could become a wonderful opportunity for stations looking to counterprogram a glut of chat shows in the morning. Since the Cleavers are regular guys, they have the potential to cash in on the male ayem demo. Says Perin, “Twenty-two percent of viewers work non-traditional hours; not all the guys watching TV during the day are unemployed or drunks.”

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