Twentieth testing regional waters

As speculated during NATPE, Twentieth Television will be rolling out 2001 programming on a regional, `test' basis, springing the content into national syndication if it's successful.

First up Twentieth's sleeve, launching on six southern Fox O&Os, will be the half-hour court strip Texas Justice, presided over by Houston lawyer Larry Joe Doherty. Kathryn Seigel Levine (Twentieth's Forgive or Forget) will be executive producing Texas Justice.

Although other syndicators are going with talk shows and dating strips as their hot 2001 prospects (i.e. King World with Ananda and Paramount with Rendez-View), Twentieth does boast the past two year's top-rated first-run rookies - with court-related Divorce Court and Power of Attorney. And Twentieth has had luck with regional launches, debuting Cops first in Los Angeles and Current Affair in New York, prior to national syndication runs.

The six Fox stations on board for Texas Justice are KDFW-TV Dallas, WAGA-TV Atlanta, KRIV-TV Houston (where the show will be taped), WBRC-TV Birmingham, WHBQ-TV Memphis and WGHP-TV Greensboro. Time periods have not been determined yet for Texas Justice, which is produced by Shrodinger's Cat Productions Inc. in association with Twentieth. - Susanne Ault