King World Prods. may have to cut a deal with Sony Television Entertainment if it wants to get its highly ambitious new gameshow “Planet Hollywood Squares” into orbit.
The problem is that King World already distributes firstrun hit gameshows “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!,” which are produced by Sony’s Columbia TriStar Television, and its contract with Sony could put the kibosh on any new gameshows.
According to sources familiar with King World’s distribution deal with Sony, the contract prohibits King World from launching any new competing gameshows into syndication. “Planet Hollywood Squares,” which was abruptly announced last weekend by Roseanne at the opening party for the Beverly Hills restaurant, is slated for the prime access time period of 7-8 p.m., where “Wheel” and “Jeopardy” are the longtime champs. Roseanne is set to develop and produce the show.