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Debmar-Mercury and ITV Studios plan food-centric daytime yakker ‘The Chefs’

Chefs Panel talkers continue to be all the rage. There’s “The View,” of course, and “The Doctors” — plus more in the works, including CBS’ mommy talk show pilot fronted by Sara Gilbert and Julie Chen.

Next up, Debmar-Mercury and ITV Studios are planning to launch “The Chefs,” a daytime strip centering on four “leading chefs.” The show “will be taped in New York and feature a daily roundtable discussion about a wide variety of tempting 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.

Casting is underway 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 EVP Lonnie Burstein will oversee production.

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

Debmar-Mercury and ITV Studios are already partnering on a U.S. version of hit U.K. talker “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.”

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