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Ray cooks up new talkshow

Food Net fave inks deal with King World, Harpo, Scripps

Food Network’s Rachael Ray has inked a deal with King World Prods., Harpo Prods. And Scripps Networks to host a one-hour, syndicated strip talk show scheduled to preem next fall.

A familiar face to TV viewers as host of the Scripps-owned Food Network’s series, “30-Minute Meals,” “$40 a Day,” “Inside Dish” and “Tasty,” Ray, like Dr. Phil before his skein debut, is a regular on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” and will continue to be for the next year.

“When Oprah has someone on her show it says to the viewer, ‘Trust me. I think this person is it,’ ” said Terry Wood, prexy, creative affairs and development for King World Prods. and Paramount Domestic Television. “That builds the relationship (with the viewer) that you need for a successful five-day-a-week show.”

Unlike, Dr. Phil, who held a designated weekly guest spot on “Oprah,” Ray’s presence on the show will “depend on what the topic is and what ‘The Oprah Show’ is doing already,” Wood said.

Proclaimed as the new Martha Stewart, Ray is a “very different personality,” Wood said.

“Some of their content is similar but their relationship with the audience is very different,” Wood said. “Everything is not tied up in a nice, neat bow with Rachael. She understands that life has all of these messes and successes.”

Although King World was in talks to do a project with former “Trading Spaces” host Paige Davis and Chicago interior designer Nate Berkus, those plans have been put on the back burner.

“We are still developing with Paige,” Wood said. “I don’t think one crosses out the other.”

The new series, to be based in Gotham, will be produced by King World Prods. in association with Harpo Prods. and Scripps Networks and distributed by King World. Ray will continue to appear on the Food Network.

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