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Krasnow to deliver NBCs daytime goods

NBC's efforts to revamp its struggling daytime lineup continue. Veteran daytime producer Stuart Krasnow was brought in last week to develop the next big afternoon hit.

Krasnow, who has produced such daytime fare as The View, Ricki Lake and the soon to be canceled Martin Short talk show, has signed a development deal with NBC Studios. Krasnow joins Linda Finnell, who was hired earlier to head up a new, nonfiction daytime programming division under the watch of NBC West Coast President Scott Sassa.

The network is hot on classic game shows. NBC executives are shooting pilots on several, including Concentration, over the next several months and could get one or even two up and running by October, sources say. NBC, which relaunched Twenty One this season in prime time, also owns the broadcast rights to Tic Tac Dough, Dough Re Mi and other game formats.

NBC is also said to be looking to acquire several other game formats and preparing other daytime formats, including talk shows. All would likely be launched on the NBC owned-and-operated stations and sold outside in syndication. Sassa said earlier that he wants to bring several NBC projects to the NATPE conference next year.

NBC's daytime, which should derive a big boost out of its Today lead-in, has consistently lagged behind both CBS and ABC in ratings. CBS has actually led all networks in Nielsen daytime television households for 580 consecutive weeks; ABC is strong in a number of female demographics.

"I'm going to try to create things that the audience loves, that the stations will love and, hopefully, all of our executives will be proud of," says Krasnow, who formerly worked for NBC News and David Letterman's late-night NBC talk show. "And I think ABC's [Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?] has proven to the marketplace that all formats are open, whether its talk, game, court or whatever."

Krasnow has worked with nearly everyone at the top of NBC's Burbank headquarters. He teamed up with NBC Entertainment President Garth Ancier to produce The Ricki Lake Show for syndication, worked with Finnell at NBC News and with new NBC Studios President Ted Harbert during a stint when Harbert was at ABC.

"This is a really comfortable environment for me to develop and get on the fast track getting product out," Krasnow says. "With the environment for syndicated shows becoming so tough, I really do like the idea of having a safety net at the network, where at least there is a chance to keep something on and a chance to get it right without having to be judged on just the first two weeks."