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Duchess back on yak track

Rosenblum to shape skein as other femme-led shows surface

Fergie is adding a talkshow to her plate.

Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, has pacted with Universal Television Enterprises to host “Fergie,” a daily hourlong talk-variety show for a potential launch in syndication during the 2003-04 TV season.

Ferguson, best known to American auds as spokeswoman for Weight Watchers and as the ex-wife of Britain’s Prince Andrew, has been mentioned around town for several seasons as a potential talk host.

Project is among a handful of potential femme-led variations on the yakker to emerge lately, as syndie development for next year gets underway. Among those already in the works are Telepictures’ Ellen DeGeneres project and Buena Vista’s Joan Cusack show.

Amy Rosenblum, who exec produces UTE’s “Maury,” also will exec produce and develop “Fergie.”

Ferguson had her own yakker, SkyOne Television’s short-lived “Sarah, Surviving Life,” in her native England. Ferguson also has been a special correspondent for NBC’s “The Today Show,” among other TV gigs. She has published several books.

As the project gets rolling, Ferguson will divide her time between her home in England and Gotham, where the show will be produced.

Rosenblum, a veteran producer of news, variety and talk programming, describes the “Fergie” concept as “variety with a heart.”

Project is among several recent programming developments to come from UTE, which comprises assets of the former Universal Worldwide TV and Studios USA Domestic TV. Last week, the company made a deal with Tribune Broadcasting to co-produce a syndicated strip (Daily Variety, June 7). Before that, it pacted with Overbrook Entertainment, Will Smith and producing partner James Lassiter’s company to develop a syndicated newsmagazine (Daily Variety, May 3).

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