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CTTD makes its picks

After floating trial balloons, Columbia TriStar Television Distribution's NATPE plans are firming up: It's bringing a reality strip and a game show to the first-run syndication marketplace for fall 2001.

Shipmates, described as Blind Date
goes sailing on a Carnival Cruise line, and Donny Osmond-hosted Pyramid, a $100,000 version of the classic $25,000 Pyramid
format will be peddled at NATPE, sources say.

CTTD also will be searching for a cable buyer of its current weekly syndicated brawl-fest Battledome-
likely candidates are TNN and TBS, looking for companions for their respective World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling franchises.

The half-hour Shipmates, executive produced by veteran reality team Bob Young and John Tomlin (Inside Edition, American Journal), will follow the romantic escapades of ten singles sent on a cruise for a three-day first date. Carnival will pony up promotional money. The show is positioned primarily as a late-night effort, and is along the lines of Fox network's upcoming Temptation Island.

"It just has the successful elements of a good TV show-romance and conflict," says a source familiar with the project.

In CTTD's half-hour Pyramid, Donny Osmond (of canceled talk show Donny & Marie) gets a second chance in syndication. CTTD is also trying to sell a $1 million network version of Pyramid, also to star Osmond. As for the syndicated Pyramid, it will have a new look but keep $25,000 Pyramid's
premise of two contestants competing against each other, pairing up with celebrity partners.