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Eye web drama in transit

2nd show to exit Col-TriStar

EXCLUSIVE
The CBS midseason series starring Ann-Margret and Sonia Braga is changing both its name and its production company, the network confirmed Thursday.

The drama, previously known as “Homestead,” was originally a co-production of CBS Prods. and Columbia TriStar TV. Columbia has now dropped out of the project, and Rysher Entertainment will co-produce with the inhouse production arm at CBS.

Rysher and CBS are now considering several new names, including “Ventana” and “Ventana Ranch,” according to Rysher exec Rob Kenneally. The drama, which just began production, will probably launch in March, possibly Tuesdays at 10 p.m. in place of Rysher’s “Dellaventura,” which has been canceled.

The CBS show, starring Ann-Margret as the matriarch on a southwestern ranch, is the second project that Columbia TriStar TV has let go in recent weeks. The studio also lent out its writers on the WB netlet’s Shelley Long sitcom “Kelly, Kelly” to Warner Bros. TV after deciding against producing the project.

Sources say Columbia TriStar TV, which has more shows in production now than just about any other studio, is being more selective with its big-ticket projects, and Rysher was willing to spend more production money on this particular CBS drama.

Columbia executives were unavailable for comment.