Go take on the daytime TV audience: Radio shrink Dr. Laura Schlessinger is close to inking a syndie talkshow deal with Paramount Domestic TV.
Schlessinger’s return to the TV fray comes a full year after she walked away from a nearly done deal with CBS’ Eyemark Entertainment, ostensibly because she did not want to be associated with Howard Stern, whose latenight TV vehicle is distributed by Eyemark.
Reps for Par and Schlessinger declined to comment Wednesday. Schlessinger, one of the highest rated nationally syndicated radio hosts, has been actively shopping for a TV deal for the past few weeks and negotiations with Par accelerated into the final stages Wednesday, sources said.
Moving ‘Mandel’ out
In spite of last year’s hasty deal breaker, Schlessinger’s reps are said to have approached Eyemark again, among other syndie distribs. And while Schlessinger is poised to join the Par fold, CBS may yet be involved with the show as its O&Os in Gotham and Los Angeles have been shopping for a new afternoon talker to replace the ailing, Par-produced “Howie Mandel” strip.
There was speculation that Par would seek to swap Schlessinger’s show for “Howie’s” timeslots on the Eye O&Os in the top two markets early next year, but nothing could be confirmed.
Schlessinger has taken a stab at the syndie TV market before, inking a deal with what was then MCA TV (now Studios USA), but the project never got off the ground.
‘Take on the day’
Schlessinger, who frequently tells callers to “go take on the day,” has become known as a firebrand advocate of traditional family values. By her own description, Schlessinger “teaches, preaches and nags” about morals and ethics from a conservative Christian perspective.
As such, Schlessinger endured an embarrassing revelation last November when a former boyfriend — with whom Schlessinger had an affair in the mid-1970s while both were married — released nude pics of the pixieish radio star via the Internet.