EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that Lionsgate-owned company Debmar-Mercury is finalizing a deal with TV station owner E.W. Scripps to partner on a syndicated legal panel talk show with The View alumna Star Jones as one of the co-hosts. There isn’t a full-fledged pilot for the project yet, but I hear segments with Jones have been filmed. I hear the format calls for five hosts, and she is the only talent locked in so far. Jones mentioned in an interview with FishbowlNY this week that she had filmed a panel talk show pilot but withheld further information. “I’m more excited about this than I’ve been in long time,” she told the site. “It’s right in my wheelhouse.” Before her nine-year stint on The View, which made her a household name, Jones — an attorney by trade who served as ADA in Brooklyn — was a legal correspondent and commentator for NBC News, Court TV and Inside Edition and led the syndicated court show Jones & Jury. While best known for its 10/90 sitcom template, which has produced a number of series to sell to cable and go into syndication including Anger Management, Debmar-Mercury also produces and distributes first-run syndication fare, including The Wendy Williams Show and Family Feud. Meanwhile, Scripps, which owns 19 TV stations, mostly ABC affiliates, has been experimenting with original programming. It developed and successfully launched two shows last season, game show Let’s Ask America, developed in conjunction Warner Bros.’ Telepictures, and pop culture show The List. A rep for Debmar-Mercury declined comment.
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