Carsey-Werner eyes Carroll

The Carsey-Werner Co. is eyeing a return to the firstrun syndie biz with a talkshow hosted by author/advice columnist E. Jean Carroll.

Carsey-Werner execs have pitched the project to a handful of key TV station buyers, but plans for the show are still in the “embryonic” stage, sources say.

Carroll hosted a widely praised chatshow, “Ask E. Jean,” for NBC’s now-defunct America’s Talking cable net in 1995; she’s also frequently seen as a fill-in host on CNBC. In the magazine world, she pens an advice column for Elle and is a contributing editor to Esquire.

Carsey-Werner, primetime TV’s premier comedy shop, struck out with its first foray in firstrun syndication, the 1992 revival of the quiz show “You Bet Your Life” with Bill Cosby. Sources say the company is bullish on the Carroll project, but wary of rushing the show out into the crowded field of talkshows set to bow in 1998, including yakkers fronted by Roseanne, Howie Mandel and Donny & Marie Osmond.

At the same time, Carsey-Werner execs have long been looking for the right vehicle to break into the lucrative firstrun syndie market.

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