Returning to the flock

Pauley's back at the Peacock with talker

If you’re Jane Pauley, you can go home again.

Pauley, set to launch her own syndie strip next fall to be produced by sports veteran Michael Weisman, will not only return into the Peacock fold via the NBC Enterprises division but will also wend her way back to Studio 8G in 30 Rockefeller Center, where her “Today” show career began.

With sales going strong, expectation is that the show will clear across 99% of the country and reap an estimated $1 million in licensing fees. In some markets, she’ll be pitted in key afternoon spots against stalwarts “Dr. Phil” and “Oprah,” whose level of quality she’s hoping to mimic.

Show’s bedrock will be Pauley herself. Despite her background, Pauley’s strip will not be news driven. Much of the series’ specifics are still in development, but it will be a single-topic show targeted toward women 35 and older.

The only sure thing so far is that there won’t be any shows on psychics. “And anything Jerry Springer has done,” says Pauley. “We aspire to keep it real,” she adds.

“Our demo is like Jane,” says NBC Enterprises’ development exec Linda Finnell. “She’s a mother, very real and very relatable. A lot of people remember her as Jane Pauley from Indianapolis with Midwestern values,” Finnell opines.

“I’ve never been the person who the world went wild over, never the golden girl,” says Pauley, who credits distrib’s Ed Wilson for wooing her back on air. “I won’t succeed if I don’t remain true to myself.”

Pauley, who has enjoyed her time away from TV, admits that she’ll have to begin training to return to the daily grind.

“It’s going to take some screwing my head back on,” she admits, “but my husband gave me a piece of advice: I should remember I have 30 years of TV experience and that’s going to be there as I need it.”

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