×

‘Rolonda’ first talker to nab Tonya interview

King World’s “Rolonda” is the first talkshow to land Tonya Harding as a guest. The controversial figure skater will appear on the May 3 episode, which may be aired live.

Harding will be paid an undisclosed amount for her appearance on Rolonda Watts’ show.

“I have no problem with checkbook journalism,” said King World prexy Michael King. “We’re prepared to pay for it, but we won’t make it easy on her or give her the right to lie to the public.”

Watts added, “Harding has a lot to say and I am tickled to death with whatever it took to get the interview.”

Harding’s appearance is tied into the relationship that King World’s “Inside Edition” established with her. King and Watts said that “Rolonda” will work with both “Inside Edition” and “American Journal” on story ideas and the talker will have access to the shows’ libraries and program material.

King World is hoping that an appearance by Harding will jump-start “Rolonda,” which has suffered from low ratings since it launched on Jan. 17. It replaced King World’s “Les Brown” show, which lasted only a few months.

King was meeting with Hollywood publicists in Los Angeles Thursday to drum up support and guests for the show, which he said suffered in the February book because of the Olympics and its quick launch. “It’s very hard to mount a show in a matter of a few weeks.”

“Les Brown,” King said, “was not a broadcaster. We gave it our full swing.” King talked extensively of the failure of “Les Brown” and noted that only two of his staffers were now with “Rolonda.”

“Every show starts rocky –‘Wheel,’ ‘Jeopardy!’ and ‘Oprah’ were all slow starters,” King said, adding that “Rolonda” is “terrific and will make a difference.”

While King emphasized that the show will be topical and serious, he also made a plea to the audience that “Rolonda” wants celebrities on its show.

“We want celebs on the show; a King World show won’t hurt you … we take the high road,” King said.

More TV

  • Content-is-King

    Top TV Execs Tackle New Distribution Landscape in Rome

    ROME – In an increasingly complex TV market, with a host of new big-ticket streaming services preparing to enter an already crowded arena, both buyers and sellers are rethinking some of the fundamentals of the TV business as they grapple with the best way to reach global audiences. A host of top producers, network executives, [...]

  • MIA-MARKET-2019_Europe-Producers-Club_4

    European Producers and Broadcasters Debate How to Weather Streaming Storm

    ROME – The impending rollout of Disney Plus, HBO Max, and other new streaming services promises a new era of uncertainty—and opportunity—for broadcasters and producers in an industry already disrupted by the likes of Netflix and Amazon. At a panel hosted by the European Producers Club Friday afternoon during the MIA market in Rome, executives [...]

  • Kevin-Beggs

    Lionsgate TV Chairman Kevin Beggs on Streamers and TV’s ‘Platinum Era’

    ROME – Over the course of two decades in the industry, Lionsgate Television chairman Kevin Beggs has witnessed the ups and downs of a business that has frequently found itself confronting both dizzying new possibilities as well as existential threats. But these days the veteran exec, who oversees the development of all scripted and non-scripted content [...]

  • MAKING IT -- Season: 1 --

    TV News Roundup: NBC Announces 'Making It' Season 2 Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, NBC announced the “Making It” Season 2 premiere date and HBO Max greenlit a new docuseries from Brad Goreski and Gary Janetti. DATES Hosts Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman will return with the second season of “Making It” on NBC Dec. 2. After the show’s holiday season premiere, the show [...]

  • Luis Fonsi Erika Ender Latin Grammys

    The Second Latin Explosion: How 'Despacito' Ushered in a New Generation of Stars

    Music is an ever-evolving art, and for the Latin Recording Academy, that’s meant riding multiple waves of attention. The most recent arrived with the stratospheric success of “Despacito,” which kicked off a second Latin Explosion with full force in 2017. The Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee hit, later featuring verses by Justin Bieber, made Latin [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content