Debmar-Mercury, ITV cook up ‘The Chefs’

Daytime syndicated talk show cues cuisine

Debmar-Mercury and ITV Studios are aiming to launch daytime syndie strip “The Chefs.”

The New York-based show would feature four personalities from the cooking world as they conduct a daily roundtable discussion about a wide variety of food-related topics.

Debmar-Mercury and ITV Studios hope to test the strip out later this year or in 2011 on a handful of stations before selling it nationally. Debmar-Mercury has conducted similar tryouts on strips such as “The Wendy Williams Show,” which aired on some Fox-owned outlets before going national.

Casting is under way to find the chefs of “The Chefs.” Show was announced by Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein, as well Paul Buccieri, president-CEO of ITV Studios. Debmar-Mercury programming/production exec VP Lonnie Burstein will oversee production.

As part of the partnership, ITV Studios is handling international distribution format rights outside the U.S.

Debmar-Mercury and ITV Studios are already partnering on a U.S. version of hit U.K. yakker “The Jeremy Kyle Show.” ITV Studios, meanwhile, knows a thing or two about food TV, having served as the studio on Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Kitchen Nightmares” (along with A. Smith and Co.).

“‘The Chefs’ successfully combines food, a topic that no one can live without, celebrities and a panel of premier chefs,” Marcus said. “It has the ability to play across all daytime and early fringe time periods.”

Panel yakkers continue to be all the rage in daytime talk, inspired by the long-standing success of “The View.” Other shows emulating that format includes CBS TV Distribution’s “The Doctors,” and more are in the works, including CBS’ mommy talkshow pilot fronted by Sara Gilbert and Julie Chen.

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