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NBCU, Others Prepping Pilots for Fall 2012

Syndicators have spent their summer shooting pilots of the shows they are prepping to sell for 2012.

NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution, which is ramping up its first-run development after years of keeping new production to a minimum, last week shot a pilot with Jenny McCarthy that was executive produced by David Friedman, formerly of CBS' The Early Show. The pilot was shot at NBCU's studio complex in Stamford, Conn., where Maury, Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos all are produced.

A spokeswoman for NBCUniversal declined to comment on development.

McCarthy recently signed a development deal with NBCU after having a talent deal in place with Oprah Winfrey's Harpo from 2008 through earlier this year. McCarthy and Harpo decided to dissolve their deal, and now McCarthy is hoping to launch a talk show at NBCU, which has plenty of space on its owned stations for new products.

Friedman left The Early Show in May. Prior to that, he produced several programs for NBC, including New Year's Eve with Carson Daly, Rosie Live and Last Comic Standing.

Executive producers of pilots do not necessarily remain as executive producers of series. There's often at least a year between pilots and production, and a lot can change in that time. Also, the executive producers of pilots frequently find other jobs in the interim.

Several other pilots and presentations also have been shot this summer, including Twentieth's Ricki Lake, with Brad Bessey, formerly of CTD's Entertainment Tonight and CBS' The Talk, at the helm. CBS Television Distribution also produced Jeff Probst, with Probst, Amy Coleman, formerly of Oprah, and Ianthe Jones, formerly of Dr. Phil, all on board as executive producers. Warner Bros.also shot Bethenny Frankel in June. All of those syndicators are expected to start shopping those shows this fall for a September 2012 premiere.

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.