‘Singles’ mates with distribution vet

Red Apple taps Peyton to help show reach outlets

“Singles Court,” the daily half-hour relationship series slated to kick off in firstrun syndication on Oct. 2, has landed a new distributor, the 32-year syndication veteran Bob Peyton.

Unapix Entertainment, the previous distributor, has sold the domestic-distribution rights back to the production company Red Apple Entertainment, which is based in Toronto. Unapix has bowed out because it’s restructuring its syndication division. Red Apple, in turn, has hired the New York-based Peyton.

“One of our strong selling points for the series is that more and more families in the U.S. consist of an unmarried couple with no children,” said Peyton, whose career has included sales-executive stints with King World, Paramount TV Distribution, Katz TV, Time Life Films and DLT Entertainment. “The host of ‘Singles Court,’ Angela Segal, is well-versed in singles issues because she’s a professional mediator.”

Segal, who created “Singles Court” and will tape the initial 65 half-hours in Hamilton, Ontario, previously hosted “Singles Talk” on PBS stations in such cities as Miami, Philadelphia and San Francisco. The new show will dramatize real-life dilemmas submitted by viewers.

70% goal

Peyton said his goal to get the series into at least 70% of the U.S. by the October start date because the show’s revenues will come only from advertisers — stations pay no cash for the series.

Instead of cash, the stations will give up 3-1/2 minutes in each half-hour run to Red Apple for sale to national advertisers. The usual syndication deal on a half-hour daily series is for stations to pay cash and surrender only 1-1/2 minutes to the distributor.

In Canada, ONtv will run “Singles Court” five days a week, starting next month.