Sony Pictures Television and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions are finalizing plans for a new syndicated daytime show featuring interior designer and Oprah Winfrey Show-regular Nate Berkus, according to sources with knowledge of the dealings. The new project should be ready for a fall 2010 rollout.
SPT is also behind Harpo’s rookie syndicated show Dr. Oz, another show built around an Oprah personality – a calling card that has been as good as any for talk show success in syndication in recent years.
Dr. Oz has been a strong player for the two companies with the best first-run talk show debut in seven years, including time period growth of 50%, 29% lead-in growth and ratings that are up 17% from its premiere. The show averaged a 3.0 rating last week.
Oz marked the first show that SPT and Harpo have done together, after Harpo had launched previous Oprah personality shows such as Dr. Phil and Rachael Ray through CBS Television Distribution, which currently distributes Winfrey’s broadcast syndication talker.
A second consecutive Harpo show for SPT is not only a coup for the company, but will increase speculation that if Winfrey does continue her daily talk show past 2011 and doesn’t move it to her proposed OWN cable network, it will end up being distributed by Sony instead of CBS.
Berkus has been a featured design expert for The Oprah Winfrey Show since he first appeared in 2001, and also hosts his own show on Winfrey’s satellite radio channel. He also hosted Winfrey’s 2008 ABC reality series, Oprah’s Big Give.
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