ABC set to mix suds with talk for ‘Day’ skein

Stern shepherding project

Real-life talkshows and scripted soap operas are the most popular forms of entertainment in daytime TV, so Nancy Stern will mix the two genres in a pilot she’s working on for ABC’s daytime schedule called “Day by Day.”

The premise of the show, said Jon Rosen, an agent for William Morris (which is packaging the series), is to expose viewers to the backstage goings-on at a successful daytime talkshow. Head writers Rick DeGregorio and Andrew Smith will script every word of the behind-the-scenes drama.

But the main character, the host of the talkshow, will interact with real people when “Day by Day” cuts out of the scripted drama. She’ll interview guests on a talkshow studio set before a live audience.

Stern will tape the spontaneous talkshow segs separately, and then weave them in and out of the soap opera.

An ABC spokeswoman says the network never comments on projects in development.

Similar in theme, Columbia TriStar TV Distribution’s “The Larry Sanders Show,” which ran for four years on HBO, threaded a fictional latenight talkshow with celebrity guests through a sitcom about the off-stage lives of the people connected with the talkshow. But, unlike “Day by Day,” the entire “Sanders” half-hour was scripted.

Stern, who heads her own company, Lookalike Prods., which has a deal with the Fox TV Studios, produced two recent primetime specials for the Fox Network, “Opening the Lost Tombs: Live From Egypt” and “Signs From God.” Earlier in her career, Stern was an exec with ABC Daytime.

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