BVT, Chris-Craft offer ‘Housecalls’ by shrink

Reality series follows psychiatrist

While gavelers and gameshows populate the NATPE floor, Buena Vista is going mental, reaching a distribution deal with Chris-Craft/United TV for upcoming syndie series “Housecalls.”

The new reality series, produced by a Chris-Craft subsid, follows practicing psychiatrist Dr. Irvin Wolkoff into the living rooms of everyday people confronting a crisis. The unrehearsed meetings capture Wolkoff guiding families through their problems, toward a resolution.

“We feel the television audience is hungry for something original,” said Laurey Barnett, exec VP of the Chris-Craft TV division. A columnist for the Toronto Star, Wolkoff has previously hosted several mental illness-oriented talkshows. Harris Katleman and Jonathon Goodson are exec producing the series.

“Buena Vista is thrilled to be the distribution arm for this innovative reality show,” BVT prexy Janice Marinelli said. “This voyeuristic look at real people facing their problems will deliver an emotionally charged punch to daytime television.”

BVT has also renewed freshman musical talent series “Your Big Break” for a second season after Chris-Craft picked up the series. The showcase of real people performing karaoke is produced by Dick Clark Prods. and Endemol Entertainment for BVT.

“This is a show that enjoyed consistent growth from its premiere,” said Tom Cerio, exec veep of sales for the company. “Since September, the audience has grown 24%.”

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