Chao Time, In The Shadows

Stephen Chao, the man who gave the world “Cops” and “Studs,” has a pilot at ABC. The aging wunderkind has been trying to land a show on the tube since getting canned from Fox in 1992 for hiring a male stripper to show it all at a News Corp. senior management retreat. In October, Wired told you about a pilot for syndication in the can for MCA TV, dubbed “HelloGoodnight,” a wee-hours “Ricki Lake” spin, featuring downtown pop icon and former KTTV Los Angeles entertainment correspondent Laurie Pike.

But now his latest pilot, which will use hidden video cameras to gather material, is occupying his buzz-cut head. “I’d give you details on what the ABC pilot is about,” said Chao. “But then I’d have to kill you.”

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