CBS Television Distribution and Tribune Broadcasting will test Serch, a new daytime talk show starring white rapper MC Serch, starting Jan. 6, 2014, said Maureen FitzPatrick, CTD's executive VP of programming and development, and Sean Compton, Tribune's president of programming and entertainment.
Ethan Nelson, formerly co-executive producer of Disney-ABC's Katie and a producer with ABC News, will executive produce the show in New York. The show will feature "real people with real issues, relying on host Serch to use his street smarts and unconventional background to help guests grapple with and resolve their problems," according to CTD and Tribune.
The show, which marks the first time CTD has tested a series before taking it into national syndication, will air as part of Tribune's daytime block of conflict talkers, which includes NBCUniversal's Maury, Jerry Springer, and Steve Wilkos.
Serch is the third series produced and distributed via the CTD and Tribune partnership. The companies debuted the late-night talker, Arsenio, and the talk show, The Test, in September.
Testing syndicated shows before taking them national is something that the Fox Stations Group, Twentieth Television and Debmar-Mercury have been doing for years, but that other studios -- including CTD and Warner Bros.-- have resisted. In the past couple of years, however, Warner Bros. has become willing to do tests and slow roll-outs, such as Bethenny and TMZ Live. NBCUniversal also has tried its hand at slow roll-outs, including Access Hollywood Live.
Serch graduated from New York's High School of Music & Art and was part of the group 3rd Bass, with which he recorded three albums. He later became a solo rap artist, with two hit singles from his album "Return of the Product" in 1992.
After retiring from performing to spend more time with his wife and three kids, he became a producer, discovering rapper Nas, whose two albums he executive produced. Serch also has executive produced for many other rap artists, including OC, Non-Phixion and Boss.
In 2003, Serch and his family moved to Detroit, where he became a DJ at urban radio station WJLB-FM, hosting "Serch in the AM." He's also served as a host on programs for VH1. He currently runs his own marketing company, Serchlite Multimedia.
Updated: Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, 2 p.m. ET
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Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.