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Paramount putting MTV series in syndie play

Insiders say Paramount, currently cooking up Dr. Phil, is aiming to bring an existing MTV series into the weekly hour syndication market.

The planned MTV/syndication cross-over "is the synergistic thing to do," says one source, in regards to Paramount's and MTV's sisterly relationship under parent Viacom. It wouldn't be the first time an MTV series has landed in syndication - October Moon handles repeats of The Real World. But this would be the first time Paramount has come on board to dual platform an MTV project - likely a music-related show.

Twentieth also is apparently toiling with 4-5 different projects to test launch in August - a new one that just popped up is the talk strip All About You, starring past Saturday Night Live comic Kevin Meaney. Hoping to duplicate its successful test launch of Texas Justice, rolling out nationally in January 2002, Twentieth is also deciding between two different projects headed by Los Angeles news personality Jillian Barberie, for small-scaled summer debuts.

At this point, it's unclear how many projects Twentieth could test next month or which one(s) would get the first shot. Both of the studio's spokespeople declined comment on their respective development projects. - Susanne Ault