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Reality vet leads Twentieth

Buccieri comes aboard amid shuffle

Twentieth TV has hired reality-show veteran Paul Buccieri as president of programming — a newly created post.

Buccieri in effect replaces Robb Dalton, who will stay on as president of programming and development but report to Buccieri instead of to Bob Cook, president and chief operating officer of Twentieth.

Cook called Buccieri “a highly seasoned producer with a solid broadcast background who brings a unique view of the marketplace” at a time when Twentieth is looking to beef up its program development.

Twentieth had a bitter disappointment last July when too few viewers tuned in to the elaborate early-fringe hour “On-Air With Ryan Seacrest,” forcing Twentieth to cancel it after less than eight months in firstrun syndication. Twentieth built a theater in Los Angeles specially for Seacrest, and industry estimates put the show’s losses at . $20 million.

Buccieri takes over a division that has generated few syndication hits in recent years. It has four strips on the air, one of which, “Divorce Court,” is a success, earning renewal for the 2005-06 season. The three others — “Texas Justice,” “Ambush Makeover” and “Good Day Live” — are still trying to line up renewal deals for next season.

A new daily half-hour version of the 1980s tabloid-magazine series “A Current Affair” will kick off on the Fox-owned stations next spring. Two other pilots for 2005-06, the half-hour “Judge Alex” and the one-hour “Suze Orman Show,” are seeking clearances beyond the Fox-owned stations, but Twentieth still hasn’t given them a go.

Buccieri reports to Twentieth on Monday after wrapping up his production deal with Endemol USA, where he has served as exec producer of “I Want to Be a Hilton,” the forthcoming NBC reality series featuring Kathy Hilton. He also exec produced “The Next Great Champ” on Fox.

Other reality shows exec produced by Buccieri include “Anything for Love” and “Performing As …,” both for Fox; “Friend or Foe” for the Game Show Network; “Girl Makes Band” for MTV; and “Extreme Variety” for NBC.

Earlier in his career, Buccieri was senior VP of program development for Chris-Craft/United TV in L.A.