CBS, Tribune Test New Talk Show

New daytime entry to run for four weeks in January

CBS’ syndicated-programming arm is partnering with Tribune Co.’s TV stations to test a new daytime program called “Serch,” in which the former member of rap group 3rd Bass will help average people solve their problems.

The daily, hour-long show will begin a four-week test run exclusively on Tribune Broadcasting stations in eight markets on January 6, 2014.  ABC News veteran Ethan Nelson, a former producer with the syndicated Katie Couric-hosted “Katie,”  will serve as executive producer of the New York-based talk show.

“Serch”  will get a test run on  WPIX in New York; KTLA in Los Angeles; WPHL in  Philadelphia; KDAF in Dallas; WDCW in Washington DC; WSFL, in Miami; WXIN in Indianapolis; and KSWB in San Diego.

The rap star, who is known as one of the first white rappers, also had two solo hits and has produced and discovered other musical talent. He is expected to use street smarts and his unconventional background to help guests solve their problems, the companies said in a prepared statement.

CBS Television Distribution typically does not air program tests, but the practice has become more widely adopted in the industry, particularly given how difficult it can be to launch a new daytime program in an increasingly competitive landscape. The daytime slot overall has become more challenged in recent years as more families have more than one member holding down a full-time job. Stations owned by Fox have performed six-week-long summer tests for selected daytime programs.

CBS and Tribune are also partners in the recently launched “Arsenio” late-night talk show. Tribune is also a major distributor of the CW network, in which CBS is a partner with Time Warner.

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