Red Apple delays ‘Singles Court’ bow

Debut pushed from October to January

NEW YORK — Red Apple Entertainment has postponed the debut of its syndicated firstrun strip “Singles Court” from October to January.

Red Apple has never released a list of U.S. TV stations that had bought “Singles” for an October start, but the skein’s co-executive producer Dave Brady says, “We’ll be able to get at least double the number of stations on board in January as in October.”

Bob Peyton, the veteran U.S. syndicator Red Apple has hired to beef up station clearance for the series, says he advocated the delay. Peyton is counting on several time periods opening up on TV stations in October and November as new firstrun strips fail to capture a mass audience and have to be replaced.

Brady says Red Apple has already produced 49 of the first season’s 65 half-hour episodes in Toronto. Show is hosted by relationships expert Angela Segal. But the reactions of focus groups assembled in Chicago 10 days ago have convinced Red Apple to add a studio audience for the final 16 half-hours and to replace the actor playing Segal’s sidekick.

The basic format will remain the same: Segal sits at a desk on a raised platform as an actor and actress playing a couple under stress stand in separate dockets and engage in a give-and-take with Segal. She’s an advice giver; her judgments over who’s at fault in the relationship carry no judicial weight.

The tribulations of the couples are based on real-life situations that the staff picks up from relationship Web sites and from ads in newspapers and magazines, according to Brady.

Brady says Red Apple is planning a big marketing campaign to promote Segal and draw attention to the series. Despite the delay in the U.S., Canadian network ON TV will start stripping the first 49 half-hours of “Singles Court” in daytime on Sept. 18.

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