CBS has found its own “View” with a womb.
Eye confirmed Wednesday that its mommy-focused daytime talker — featuring Sara Gilbert and Julie Chen, among others — has won the bakeoff to fill the timeslot that will be vacated in the fall by canceled sudser “As the World Turns.”
The show, a cross between “The View” and a “Mommy and Me” class, was seen as a frontrunner for the slot, thanks to the number of celebs who had signed on to the gig. Besides Gilbert and Chen, that roster includes Sharon Osbourne, Leah Remini, Marissa Jaret Winokur and Holly Robinson Peete.
Chen’s involvement was especially seen as a strong sign that the show would be picked up. Chen and her husband, CBS Corp. topper Leslie Moonves, recently welcomed their first child.
Also giving the show a big assist: Unlike the other pilots in contention for the CBS daytime slot, the “Mommy View” (actual title is still pending) show will be owned and produced in-house by the Eye.
“There was a good window of opportunity for us to try and get into the daytime business from an ownership position,” said CBS Daytime senior VP Barbara Bloom.
Indeed, the rest of the Eye’s daytime fare is produced by outside studios. Its sudser “The Young and the Restless” comes from Sony Pictures TV, for example, while gamers “The Price Is Right” and “Let’s Make a Deal” are produced by FremantleMedia.
RelativityReal CEO Tom Forman, who had previously been attached to “Mommy View,” is no longer involved. Gilbert, who developed the show, will exec produce, along with John Redmann. (Although she’s an exec producer, Gilbert provided the least amount of personal information in Wednesday’s release.)
Daily one-hour show will launch in mid-October. According to the Eye, the hosts will discuss issues through the guise of parenthood. Show will also include guest entertainers and newsmakers, live remotes and homevideos from the hosts.
Asked how the new show will differ from ABC’s long-running “View,” Bloom pointed to the celeb personalities on the CBS panel as offering different perspectives. She also warned against reading too much into the mommy label. “We’re not going to be talking about which stroller to buy,” she said.
Chen is expected to serve as a de facto moderator. With her new duties on this show and her continuing involvement with “Big Brother,” Chen will step back from “The Early Show,” where she’ll continue as a contributor but no longer co-anchor.
“She’s a new mom and funny as hell,” Bloom said of Chen. “She’s got a lot to say on these subjects.”
“Mommy View” reps the latest show to emulate the yakking heads format popularized by “The View.” Oprah Winfrey toyed with the format for a time with her “Friday Live” shows, while syndie mag “The Insider” switched to a panel format some time ago.Beyond “Mommy View,” two more contenders for the “As the World Turns” slot had fans. Eye has also been keen on reviving the gamer “Pyramid,” having piloted a new version this year. Andy Richter hosted this version of “Pyramid” — and some CBS execs liked the symmetry of having three comedian-hosted gamers, along side “The Price Is Right” (Drew Carey) and “Let’s Make a Deal” (Wayne Brady).
Another pilot, said to be another favorite of top CBS execs, was a food-centric yakker hosted by star chef Emeril Lagasse. Both “Pyramid” and the Emeril show could always be reworked for the syndication marketplace, now that CBS has passed.Meanwhile, the talk show pilot hosted by Valerie Bertinelli and Australian star Rove McManus was said to have not fared well. A revival of the classic gamer “Password” was also briefly under consideration.CBS is still hammering out its programming plans to fill the void between “As the World Turns'” September exit and the October launch of “Mommy View.”