King World eyeing Short talkshow

Former SNL-er could also be regular on 'H'wood Squares'

Ed Grimley, talkshow host?

Actor/comedian Martin Short is said to be in talks with King World Prods. to develop a syndie talkshow, possibly for latenight. Reps for Short and King World would not comment on the matter late Friday.

If the King World talks are true, Short could also wind up as a regular or semi-regular on King World’s revival of “Hollywood Squares,” set to bow in syndication this fall.

It’s unlikely that a talkshow hosted by Short would be up and running by then, given the long lead time distribs need to sell syndie skeins in 200-plus TV markets around the country.

Short would join a growing list of series projects in the hopper at King World. In addition to “Hollywood Squares,” King World is launching a daytime talker with Roseanne this fall and is developing a morning show strip with NBC for 1999.

Syndie biz sources said Friday that Short had not been shopped around to the major distribs in recent months, indicating that King World wooed the former Second City trouper directly for the project.

There was speculation that Short’s show would be prepped as a backup project for the Roseanne talker, but KW sources scoffed at the suggestion.

Short is known for his stints with “SCTV” and on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” from 1984-85, where he honed the hyper-nerdy Ed Grimley character. He also starred in a short-lived NBC sitcom, “The Martin Short Show,” in 1994.

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