RYSHER PULLS ‘JUDD’

Syndie talker may be revamped for cable

Rysher Entertainment is pulling the plug on one of this year’s biggest syndication offerings for 1997, “The Naomi Judd Show.”

“Naomi,” produced by Quincy Jones and David Salzman, was one of only a handful of big daytime strips being sold at the convention this year. Even so, the syndicator was unable to find any station buyers.

Nearly all the strips going into NATPE with significant clearances come from syndicators with station groups, such as Eyemark’s “Martha Stewart Living” and Twentieth TV’s “The Home Team.” Exceptions include Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution’s “The People’s Court.”

Cable option

Ira Bernstein, president of domestic television distribution at Rysher, said

“Naomi” will be restructured, and future plans will be announced after NATPE.

One possibility is a cable sale, and sources say the Nashville Network may be

interested in the country star.

“Naomi Judd is a beloved entertainer, a brilliant artist and an extraordinarily caring individual,” Bernstein said in a statement. “Our challenge was and remains how to create a daily talkshow format that best showcases her star quality and ability to relate to viewers.”

While Judd is a well-known personality, some industry watchers questioned whether her country success would cross over into urban markets. Rysher’s talkshow credibility also may have been damaged from its previous failure, “George & Alana.”

Outlook grim for games

Sources say one other strip from Jones’ and Salzman’s QDE, “Treasure Hunt,” which was in development at Columbia TriStar Television Distribution, is not likely to be sold at NATPE either. CTTD also probably won’t take out its updated “$ 25,000 Pyramid,” which would have been the companion.

CTTD does not comment on development, but with the current state of the market and so few shows going to NATPE, there may still be room for the two games if CTTD makes a last-minute decision to go forward withthem.

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