After flirting with a number of webs and syndie distribs in recent years, radio shrink Dr. Laura Schlessinger has inked a talkshow development deal with Paramount Domestic TV (Daily Variety, April 1).
Deal is said to be worth in the neighborhood of $3 million for Schlessinger, who has become radio’s top-rated syndicated personality with an estimated weekly aud of 20 million listeners.
Pact was confirmed Wednesday by Par Domestic TV co-presidents Frank Kelly and Joel Berman. Hourlong strip is targeted to bow in fall 2000.
“Talkshows are always built around what kind of connection the host can make with an audience. Dr. Laura already makes a tremendous connection with her audience every day,” said Kelly. Tackling the daytime TV aud “is the obvious next chapter for her.”
Schlessinger is understood to have had talks with CBS’ Eyemark Entertainment and ABC Daytime over the past year. With Eyemark, Schlessinger famously backed away from a deal last year because she did not want to be in the same stable as shock jock Howard Stern, whose raunchy latenight vehicle is handled by Eyemark.
Schlessinger said Wednesday that she is still exploring a range of ideas as to the format for her TV vehicle. While she will continue to host her three-hour daily radio yakker, syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks, the TV show is unlikely to adhere to the same call-in format.
“I’m not just going to do my radio show on TV,” Schlessinger said. “It’s not going to be a shrink show, but it will be geared toward my interests in discussing ethics, principles, values and morality in a compelling and entertaining way.”