Perler, Blackstone to co-exec produce 'Tony'

Buena Vista TV has signed David Perler and Jill Blackstone to serve as co-executive producers of “The Tony Danza Show,” which begins its sophomore season in firstrun syndication on Monday.

Two months ago, the Danza show dropped John Redmann, who was the sole executive producer during the show’s first season. Perler, who was a consulting producer during Danza’s rookie year, will focus on the celebrity and comedy segments. Blackstone, most recently executive producer of Sony Pictures TV’s syndicated “Pat Croce Moving In,” canceled after its first season in 2004-05, will be responsible for human-interest features, topical subjects and theme shows.

The second season will be crucial for Danza because Buena Vista’s sales force has engineered time-period upgrades in Los Angeles, Chicago and other cities. Industry scuttlebutt is that if the show’s modest rookie-season ratings don’t improve in year two, the Buena Vista will angle to replace it with a daily hourlong talkshow hosted by Gloria Estefan.

Buena Vista broadcasts the Danza show live on weekday mornings from New York City for 35 weeks of originals. TV stations pay Buena Vista cash license fees, which the distributor augments by keeping seven 30-second spots within each hour for sale to national advertisers.

Redmann has gone on to become co-exec producer with Kevin Applegate of Warner Bros. Domestic’s “The Tyra Banks Show,” which premieres later this month in firstrun syndication.

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