Independent syndicator Program Partners scored a coup at the National Association of Television Program Executives show in Las Vegas Tuesday, announcing that it is launching an hour-long talk strip starring Marie Osmond for fall 2009.
"I've always wanted to do a show for women that would offer them a safe place to have some fun and get vital information," Osmond said at a Las Vegas press conference. "Marie will truly reflect my personality -- funny, sometimes serious and never predictable."
Syndicators have been circling Osmond because she is a proven commodity among women across the country. Osmond said she went with Program Partners because "I like their philosophy. We are going to be real partners and do things on the show about which I feel strongly."
Sources said Program Partners beat out larger studios competing for Osmond because they offered her more personal ownership in the program, which, in success, stands to earn the star millions of dollars. William Morris' John Ferriter, who has represented Osmond for 17 years, brokered the deal.
Osmond just came off a run on ABC's Dancing with the Stars, where she was a fan favorite. She also recently appeared on CBS' The Oprah Winfrey Show and CNN's Larry King, in each case driving those shows to top ratings performances.
She's no stranger to syndication, having starred with her brother Donny in another strip, Donny & Marie, produced by Columbia TriStar Television, now Sony, in 1998. That show ran for two seasons.
Besides appearing in a Dancing with the Stars tour and planning a Donny & Marie reunion show in Las Vegas this July, she also sells her own award-winning line of dolls on QVC.
It's too early to name a format, producing team or even shooting location for Marie, Osmond said, although she will relocate to Los Angeles or New York from her home in Utah.
"Marie is a true original,” Program Partners’ Ritch Colbert said. "And Marie, the series, will be every bit as much a winner as she is. This is the kind of project for which stations have been waiting for a very long time."
For complete NATPE coverage, click here.
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