Rhea to promo ‘Spend’

Show sends random people on shopping sprees

Warner Bros./Telepictures Prods. is using its rookie syndicated TV strip “The Caroline Rhea Show” to help launch “Spend It Fast,” its rookie cable-TV five-a-weeker premiering next month on WE: Women’s Entertainment.

That’s the word from Bruce David Klein, president of Atlas Media Corp., which produces “Spend It Fast” for WE, where it kicks off Sept. 30. Klein declined to discuss production costs, but the going rate for an on-location series like “Fast” is between $40,000 and $45,000 a half-hour.

“Spend It Fast” employs a white stretch limo to visit suburban neighborhoods, where the producers choose a home out of the blue and offer the family “fistfuls of cash” to go immediately on a shopping spree at a local store. Atlas is in production on 65 half-hours of the series.

On Sept. 20, Rhea will join the host of “Spend It Fast” Larry Hoff on location at a shopping mall as Klein and his staff tape a typical episode of “Fast.” Telepictures will edit the Rhea-Hoff session for taped airing on one of the Rhea shows during the week of Sept. 23.

More cross-promos

Klein says his hope is that the segment plays so well on the Rhea show that her show will make more visits to “Spend It Fast” locations for future cross-promotions.

The 13-year-old, New York-based Atlas Media has also completed a four-hour miniseries for the History Channel called “Big Deals: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly” to run over four nights covering Sept. 16-19. The deals covered in the miniseries include Sony’s purchase of Columbia Pictures and Seagram’s buyout of Universal Pictures from Matsushita.

Another series from Atlas is “Top Ten Places to Spend a Fortune,” a weekly half-hour for Food Network hosted by VH1’s Bobby Rivers.

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