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Viva Las NATPE

BaywatchJust arrived in Sin City to cover my first NATPE confab in five years. Ought to be an interesting to take the pulse of execs, station managers and sundry others during the next few days at this precarious time in the TV biz.

With only a handful of new syndie strips bound for the fall of ’08, the big drama of the confab is expected to be whether or not Fox’s Twentieth Television decides to greenlight a yakker hosted by Steve Harvey. Word is that BET is interested in the show for simultaneous run in latenight. I’m guessing will know if it’s a yea or nay by the time the NATPE exhibition floor opens on Tuesday. I’d also submit that one of the biggest stories this year is the fact that my esteemed Variety colleague John Dempsey is not here, by his own choice. Dempsey’s been covering NATPE for longer than most stars of “Gossip Girl” have been alive, so it’s about time he got a break! We’ll try to do you proud, John….

Apropos of NATPE and syndication, look what just showed up in my inbox. A release heralding the news that “Baywatch” is back — with repeats airing Monday-Thursday on ION Television starting March 3. With me at NATPE, and Pamela Anderson’s masterwork coming back to the small screen, it’s 1995, all over again…