Rappoport inks for ‘Mandel’

Former 'Oprah,' 'Maury' exec to help develop talker

Diane Rappoport has been recruited as the exec producer of Paramount’s struggling syndie talkshow fronted by Howie Mandel.

Rappoport replaces Joachim Blunck as the day-to-day showrunner of “The Howie Mandel Show,” which bowed in June to mediocre Nielsen numbers. Over the past five weeks, “Howie Mandel” has averaged a 1.9 household rating and 6 share in Nielsen’s overnight metered markets, dropping 24% from its average lead-in rating of a 2.5/8.

Rappoport was praised by the studio as a “seasoned veteran” of daytime TV talkshows. She spent the past six years at the helm of Par’s “Maury Povich Show,” and prior to that, she was exec in charge of production of the top-rated “Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Rappoport’s appointment comes as a sign of Par’s commitment to giving the struggling talk-variety hour more time to develop an audience. However, its 170-odd station affils may not be as patient with low numbers and could start moving the show out of optimum afternoon timeslots.

Earlier this month, CBS O&O KYW Philadelphia moved “Howie Mandel” off its afternoon sked to a post-2 a.m. slot to make room for a new local newscast. The show was subsequently moved to back to daytime to the Par-owned station in the market, UPN affil WPSG.

In fairness, the Nielsen news hasn’t been all bad for “Howie Mandel.” The show has improved on its timeslot perf in such major markets as New York, Atlanta and Sacramento.

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