The Fox Television Stations (FTS) are launching three test programs this summer, Hollywood Today Live, The Daily Help Line and Laughs, said Frank Cicha, FTS’ senior VP of programming, and Stephen Brown, FTS’ executive VP of programming and development.
Each program will air on select Fox-owned stations in several markets, including New York and Los Angeles. Hollywood Today Live and The Daily Help Line, both one-hour daytime strips, will debut July 14, while Laughs, a weekly half-hour program, will premiere Aug. 2. Should these shows get picked up, Twentieth Television will distribute them in national syndication.
“Our schedules are heavily populated with former tests, so this is exciting—more test shows, with more of our stations participating than ever before. It’s all about increasing our chances of finding fresh, economically viable building blocks for our lineups,” said Cicha in a statement. “And if they all fail, see you next summer!”
“These three programs are all very distinct. Hollywood Live is like a Sharknado-version of The View. Help Line answers the question – will people be as honest with our therapists as they are with their own? And Laughs will determine if one talented guy, Steve Hofstetter, can aggregate and curate the funniest show on TV,” said Brown, also in a statement.
Hollywood Today Live, from BiteSize Entertainment Networks, is a daily entertainment magazine delivering celebrity, red carpet and pop culture news. Hollywood Today Live will be hosted by four hosts, Kristen Brockman, AJ Gibson, Tanner Thomason, and Porscha Coleman.
The Daily Help Line, hosted by Miles Adcox and Spirit, takes calls for advice from callers, tweeters, social-media followers, in-studio audience members and guests. In many episodes, the two hosts will be joined by celebrities, including Marie Osmond, Tom Green, TLC’s Tionne Watkin, Loni Love, Tabatha Coffey and Brandy. Matt Lutz will serve as executive producer.
Laughs, hosted and executive produced by Steve Hofstetter, is a weekly roundup of the best comedy in America. Hofstetter, a stand-up comic with 20 million YouTube views, has produced Trial by Laughter for Comcast and 100 Advantages to Having Kids for Nick Mom.
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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.