SONY WOOS RENEWALS

Col TriStar hustling gameshows, 'Vibe' launch

NEW ORLEANS — Columbia TriStar Television Distribution has its hands full on the floor of NATPE, looking to get renewals for its “Dating Game/Newlywed Hour” and launch its latenight Quincy Jones-produced “Vibe.”

On the gameshow front, CTTD is pushing for renewals on the hourlong freshman effort, which got off to a slow start. Key to the block’s survival will be whether the Fox and New World TV stations, which reach about 40% of the country, give the syndicator a second year. So far, Fox execs are keeping mum. However, the Fox and New World stations have cleared the Terry Bradshaw daytime lifestyle show “The Home Team” for daytime.

Gaming changes afoot

Look for potential changes on the two gameshows if the renewals come through. Industry sources are speculating the studio may look to a creative revamp. There even has been speculation that Chuck Woolery may be lured to become host of “The Dating Game.” CTTD declined to comment for this story.

On the “Vibe” front, CTTD is expected to unveil some top-10 clearances, most likely on the Chris-Craft and Paramount stations in the top 10 markets. Sources said seven of the top 10 markets have been cleared, with more to follow.

Chris-Craft prime target

Chris-Craft is the likely suspect to take the show. The Tribune stations in New York and L.A. already have a heavy load of offnet fare for latenight.

The Fox stations are not expected to buy “Vibe,” apparently because sister division Twentieth Television had passed on the project before Jones took it to Columbia, and Fox already has bought the weekly latenight “John Salley Show,” which could be stripped in 1998.

A New York clearance on Chris Craft’s WWOR could be expensive, as the station charges for clearances on much of its firstrun fare.

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