“Hairspray” star Marissa Jaret Winokur is preparing to dance her way to daytime TV.
Following a bidding war with other studios, Sony Pictures Television has inked a deal to develop a daytime gabber strip toplined by Winokur. Studio is eyeing a fall 2009 launch.
Gabber is the first big project for new Sony reality/syndication chief Holly Jacobs, who joined the company in January after a run at Fox TV Studios. Jacobs has plenty of experience with syndie launches, having opened Buena Vista’s Wayne Brady gabber and the half-hour version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”
Winokur, who won a Tony for playing Tracy Turnblad in the Broadway version of “Hairspray,” is a leading hoofer on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars.” Latter skein has proven to be a breeding ground for syndie talk talent: In January, former “DWTS” contestant Marie Osmond announced plans for her own show.
With Osmond’s program also targeted for fall 2009, she and Winokur will soon be battling each other to land timeslots on major stations across the country.
The last time Sony produced a syndie talkshow built around a celebrity was in 1998. The talent? Osmond, and her brother Donny.
Sony was behind Ricki Lake’s successful 1990s daytime talkshow (Lake played Tracy Turnblad in the original 1988 “Hairspray” movie.)
Winokur’s other TV credits include a series regular role in Fox’s Pam Anderson laffer “Stacked” and a voice role in ABC’s “Shrek the Halls” holiday spesh.
The Winokur project was packaged by UTA.