MGM Worldwide sets Nat’l Enquirer specs

:MGM Worldwide TV is planning to syndicate two one-hour “National Enquirer” specials, with the hope of creating a syndicated strip based on the tabloid paper for fall 1998.

The first of the two specials, which will be produced by Bogorad Wyler Prods. and will air in late May and early June, is called “National Enquirer Presents: 25 years of Scandals!” The second special is still unnamed, but it will air in late November and early December.

This isn’t the first time the National Enquirer has sold rights to a special in anticipation of moving to a series. In 1994, a special titled “Inside the Secret Files of the National Enquirer” was sold to the Chris-Craft station group and was pitched as a series, which never got off the ground.

The new set of specials will be hosted by Mike Walker, senior editor of the National Enquirer. Producers are Dennis Bogorad, creator of MGM’s reality series “LAPD: Life on the Beat,” and David Wyler, a producer of musical specials.

John Symes, president of MGM Worldwide TV, said the company would begin a national search for a co-host, and he hopes the specials will generate enough interest to strip it in early fringe, access or latenight next fall.

The specials will be promoted in the National Enquirer newspaper, which is owned by American Media Inc. They will also be promoted in American Media’s other publications, such as the Star, Soap Opera Magazine and Weekly World News. Production on the specials is expected to begin in March

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