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TV Notes: J. Lo and Britney toy with talk shows

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears may soon be competing on television as well as on the pop charts.

Both are kicking around the idea of launching syndicated talk shows that would begin airing in fall 2004, according to experts in that market.

In both cases, the stars are lending their names to projects but wouldn't commit to full-time involvement, much like Barbara Walters, who appears only on certain days on "The View," said Bill Carroll, who follows the syndication market for the Katz Television Group, a media-buying firm.

"American Idol" host Ryan Seacrest is beginning an entertainment-oriented show for late afternoons in January, aiming for viewers who have outgrown MTV's "Total Request Live," Carroll said.

Watching the response to Seacrest's show in the marketplace, television companies realized there was room for other daytime programming that would reach a younger audience than Oprah Winfrey or Dr. Phil McGraw, he said.

Lopez's show would include the participation of her sister, Lynda, a New York radio personality who has also worked in local television, he said.

A spokesman for Universal Domestic Television, which is reportedly considering the show, wouldn't comment.

Spears would be executive producer of her show and occasionally appear on videotaped segments, according to an executive, who requested anonymity, at one of the companies that's been pitched the idea.

The show would be a combination newsmagazine and talk show focusing on modern lifestyles, the executive said.

The California agent who is pitching the show didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Potential talk shows starring Jules Asner of E! Entertainment Television and Los Angeles radio personality Jamie White are also in the works, Carroll said.

(David Bauder, Associated Press)

9/11 programming

Two years removed from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, broadcast networks will mark the anniversary with news stories but aren't planning to interrupt their regular schedules.

It's in marked contrast to last year, when the broadcasters devoted much of their day to the anniversary either with news specials or, in NBC's case, a commemorative concert.

"My sense is that this anniversary, the second anniversary, feels different than the first in scale and the kind of coverage appropriate for the day," said Mark Lukasiewicz, executive producer for special projects at NBC News.

NBC hasn't firmed up its plans but, like ABC and CBS, doesn't expect any prime-time specials. The networks are waiting to see if New York City will announce any commemorations that they will deem worth covering.

ABC said Monday that all of its regularly scheduled news programs that week will examine the question of whether or not Americans are safer than before Sept. 11, 2001.

The network will assess the level of damage done to Osama bin Laden's terrorist network, whether the money used to prevent and respond to terrorist attacks was well-spent and the balance between civil liberties and domestic security.

CBS will station Harry Smith at ground zero for Sept. 11's edition of "The Early Show." A night earlier on "60 Minutes II," CBS will rerun Scott Pelley's interview with President Bush conducted at the time of the first anniversary.

With more hours of news programming to fill, CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC could be expected to spend more time on the story. CNN and MSNBC said Monday their plans weren't set yet. A Fox News Channel representative did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

(David Bauder)

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