Comcast programming arm C3 has partnered with Twentieth TV and Planet Hollywood to launch an hourlong daytime strip for 1997 hosted by Terry Bradshaw. “The Home Team” is the first project from C3 (Comcast Content & Communications), and it is part of an overall three-year development and production deal with Twentieth TV and Fox Broadcasting Co.
“The Home Team” will be an entertainment and service program shot before a studio audience in Los Angeles, featuring celebrity sports and entertainment guests as well as segments on cooking, fashion and fitness. Live satellite segments will be added in some markets, and a pilot will be taped Monday.
The series is only the second syndie strip project for fall 1997 from a major studio, the first being “Vibe” from Columbia TriStar Television Distribution. It also is the first TV programming venture from Planet Hollywood, which earlier considered a venture with King World to launch gameshow “Planet Hollywood Squares.” That show never made it out of the development stage.
“The Home Team” will not necessarily be cleared on the Fox-owned station group, according to Rick Jacobson, president and chief operating officer of Twentieth TV, who cut the deal along with Planet Hollywood chairman Keith Barish, C3 chairman Richard H. Frank and C3 president Bob Crestani.
“We’re going to take it out and make the best deal in the marketplace,” Jacobson said. “We’re talking to everyone. It’s compatible with ‘Fox After Breakfast,’ but it would also be compatible with ‘Rosie O’Donnell.’ ”
If the Fox station group does buy the show, sources say it could provide interesting cross-promotional opportunity with Fox NFC, which Bradshaw will continue to anchor on Sundays. While the audience for Sunday football is very different from the older women-skewing daytime crowd, Jacobson said Bradshaw appeals to a wide demographic swath.
A branded host
“We’re bringing a host who’s very well known,” Jacobson said. “His name is already branded. The Super Bowl is watched by 3 billion people worldwide and a couple of hundred million people here.”
Frank adds, “This is a guy who washes dishes after dinner and lives at home. He totally relates to women audiences.”
Executive producers on the project are Frank, Crestani and Eve Szurley, vice president of creative affairs for C3. Co-executive producer is TV veteran Erni Di Massa, who was a King World executive for years after producing series such as “The Mike Douglas Show.”
C3,which was formed in September and has maintained a fairly low profile since then, will focus mainly on producing “The Home Team,” while Twentieth TV handles distribution. The show will be sold for cash plus barter, with the barter split still undetermined.
Planet Hollywood Inc. will supply chefs from its new Chef of the World restaurants, as well as celebrity connections from its partners and sports figures involved in the All Star Cafe. Some Planet Hollywood-connected celebs are expected to appear in the pilot.
“We will be involved in promoting and using our trademarks,” Barish said. “We bring lots of resources to the show, and we intend to use them.”
Barish said appearances on the show are up to the individual partners, the 30 celebrity investors in Planet Hollywood and 20 sports figures involved in the All Star Cafe. However, “When we get behind something, most of our shareholders participate.” Planet Hollywood partners include Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Jacobson said there will be plenty of timeslots available in daytime TV, and the show could be launched as early as spring. Three shows already have been canceled this season: MGM’s “Bradshaw Difference,” All American’s “The Richard Bey Show” and Eyemark’s “Day & Date.” Other shows are vulnerable, sources say, including ACI’s “Scoop With Sam & Dorothy,” MCA’s “Pat Bullard,” and Twentieth TV’s “Gordon Elliott.”
“This is a wide-open environment,” Jacobson said. “We’ve seen the kind of money ‘Rosie’ can get for a 4.0 (rating).”
Many distributors have been chasing after well-known celebs to host daytime talker, but Twentieth TV is the first to snag one. Bill Carroll, VP-director of programming at Katz Television, said prospects for the show could be good.
“Terry Bradshaw is larger-than-life,” he said. “He has a wonderful sense of humor about life and about himself. Audiences think he’s non-threatening, and he certainly has the Fox sensibility.”
C3, Planet Hollywood and Twentieth TV all are ownership partners in the syndie show, but C3 also is developing some FBC shows as part of its larger development deal with News Corp. Details about network projects were not available.