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‘Jenny’ Blows Into Windy City

“Jenny Jones,” one of the few firstrun adult strips to get a firm go at NATPE, will be produced for syndication at Chicago’s NBC Towers this fall.

Al Jerome, president of NBC’s tv stations division, said the deal fulfills one of the network’s top priorities of the ’80s – establishing its Chicago headquarters as a production center.

NBC will rent its Studio A facilities to Telepictures Prods., which is producing the program in association with David Salzman Entertainment. The network has no partnership interest in the show.

“Jenny Jones” already has been cleared in more than 100 markets, including the top 10, by distributor Warner Bros. TV. In a deal separate from its landlord/tenant arrangement with Telepictures, the hourlong strip has been licensed to four NBC-owned stations, including WMAQ-TV Chicago, which broadcasts from NBC Towers.

Telepictures is expected to draw on local production talent instead of importing workers from Los Angeles.

Comedienne Jenny Jones has appeared in Chicago comedy clubs several times since she began taking her “Girls Night Out” show on the road last fall. (She describes that show as a cross between group therapy and a pajama party.) “Girls Night Out” is notorious for its exclusion of all members of the opposite sex during shows. Even male staff members such as waiters and bouncers are barred, to encourage women to laugh about personal topics that men would not fully understand.

“Jenny Jones” executive producer David Salzman said he is confident the show will work because it plans to duplicate the successful formula Jones has established in her club appearances. Appearing before a live audience, she will tell jokes, sing comic songs and discuss casual topics, always leaving time for the crowd to air a few pet peeves.

Unlike her live shows, however, men will be included in the tv series’ studio audience.

Jones, 43, turned to comedy five years ago after working as a backup singer for Wayne Newton and fronting her own Las Vegas lounge act, Jenny Jones & the Covergirls. Her 25-year showbiz career also includes modeling, drumming in myriad rock bands, and becoming, in 1986, the first woman to win the $100,000 grand prize for comedy on “Star Search.”

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