'Lake,' 'Latifah's' Armour fills open position
Jose Pretlow, exec producer of King World Prods.’ “The Ananda Lewis Show,” and Mary Duffy, the skein’s senior exec producer, are ankling their positions at the new syndie talker.
Former “Ricki Lake” and “Queen Latifah” co-exec producer David Armour is taking over as exec producer.
On-set friction resulting from differences of opinion among the show’s host, Lewis, and the producers was one reason for the change.
“A horse designed by committee is a camel. This show is a camel,” King World chairman-CEO Roger King said. “David will totally be the executive in charge, with total control of the show. … We have to have one in charge. If we have two or three, we will have problems.”
King added that Pretlow asked to be let out of his post for personal reasons. For one thing, Pretlow and his family live in Los Angeles, while “Ananda” is Gotham-based.
“We really like Jose Pretlow. We think he’s a very talented guy. He came to us weeks ago and said he had personal reasons he wanted to leave,” King said.
Duffy, King said, wanted to be in development at King World. She has already left the “Ananda” production and will be taking a Gotham-based development role for King World.
Pretlow will work with Armour through next week in order to ensure a smooth transition.
Shift to younger demo
With the producer changes, King said the show will shift its direction from targeting an adult 25-54 audience to targeting 18-49 viewers.
“It will be more of an Ananda-style show, starting today,” King said, noting that Lewis’ background is as an MTV and BET personality, so her following tends to be younger than the 25-54 group.
“Ananda” had been featuring news-oriented episodes, several related to the World Trade Center attacks, since debuting Sept. 10 in national syndication. Going forward, the show will feature such topics as boy-crazy girls, love at first sight and a second chance at love, King said.
“We found she really is 18-49, and that’s what we’re going for. David has an extensive background in producing for that demo,” King said.