It’s official: Donny and Marie Osmond are reuniting to host a syndie daytime talkshow for Columbia TriStar Television Distribution next year.CTTD gave the greenlight to “Donny & Marie” after closing deals with Fox-owned stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Phoenix and Salt Lake City. Dick Clark, who produced a “Donny & Marie” pilot for CTTD earlier this summer, is on board as executive producer. The hourlong strip, described as a blend of celebrity chat, performance and comedy skit segments, is set for debut next fall, although CTTD may opt for a summer premiere. “These are two seasoned performers who are going to deliver the kind of quality programming stations and advertisers are looking for in daytime,” CTTD president Barry Thurston said. “There isn’t anything out there (in daytime TV) like this right now.” While there are no plans for regular ice-skating routines, as fans of the Osmond duo’s ABC primetime variety hour from the late 1970s may remember, there will be plenty of performing — separate, together and with guests — from the singing siblings. “The one thing every guest in the pilot asked for was to have Donny and Marie join them onstage,” said Russ Krasnoff, executive VP of programming for CTTD. “We think (the performance) aspect of the show will have real appeal.” “Donny & Marie” will face stiff competition next year for celebrity guests, however. In addition to the red-hot “Rosie O’Donnell,” Roseanne and Howie Mandel are set to host their own new celebrity-driven daytime vehicles next year. CTTD is offering “Donny & Marie” to stations for a cash license fee plus 3-1/2 minutes of barter advertising time in each hour. The Fox stations already on board have given a two-year commitment to the show.
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