MTV has ordered another 65 episodes of its latenight strip “Loveline” from Stone Stanley Prods., which is hoping to take the series out in syndication when MTV’s exclusive window is up in fall 1998.
New episodes of “Loveline” will bow on MTV in January. The hourlong show is hosted by a physician, Dr. Drew Pinsky, and a comic, Adam Carolla, who field questions and dispense advice on sex- and relationship-oriented matters. The TV series, based on local radio station KROQ-FM’s long-running call-in show of the same name, also features celebrity guests.
MTV officials say “Loveline” has developed a loyal following since its debut last December. The show was bumped up from midnight to the 11 p.m. timeslot earlier this year.
The TV version of “Loveline” had been set for a syndication launch in September 1996, but Fox’s Twentieth TV pulled the plug on the syndie strip just a few weeks before its scheduled premiere. Fox inherited the rights to “Loveline” last year with its purchase of New World Communications, which had a production/distribution pact with prolific indie Stone Stanley Prods.
At the time, the Fox O&Os were obliged to carry “Loveline” as part of a broader programming partnership with New World, but those commitments were moot once Fox parent News Corp. struck a deal to buy New World in mid-1996. “Loveline” migrated to MTV shortly after it was yanked by Twentieth TV.
Twentieth TV still controls the rights to the show. Rick Jacobson, president of Twentieth, says the company has “no current plans” to take “Loveline” out again in syndication. However, sources say Twentieth has not ruled out the possibility of cutting a deal with an outside distributor.
Basking in the glow of MTV’s renewal, Stone Stanley principals Scott Stone and David Stanley say they’re hopeful that after two years on cable, “Loveline” will be warmly received in the syndie marketplace as a “proven property.”