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Warner Bros. Banks on Tyra

Supermodel Tyra Banks has completed a deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution to do a syndicated talk strip starting in fall 2005.

"What really sold us on her were her appearances on Oprah," said Dick Robertson, president of WBDTD. "When she was on, Oprah got a bump in the key women 18-34 and 18-49 demos," said Jim Paratore, executive vice president of WBDTD, and president of Telepictures Productions.
Banks became famous as a supermodel and a favorite Victoria's Secret model. She now executive produces and stars in UPN's America's Next Top Model, a show credited with turning around the network. "Tyra is incredibly mature and extremely smart," Robertson said.

"That doesn't necessarily make for a successful show, but if you don't have it, you have no chance." Robertson said Warner Bros. was able to sign Banks because only three new talk shows out of 71 in the past eight years have been called hits--Rosie O'Donnell, Dr. Phil and Ellen--and two of those were produced by Warner Bros. "In the end, selling shows and getting them on the air was important to Tyra and her people, and we do that well." Warner Bros. will begin selling the show this November.

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.