Fox Stations Will Test Three Shows This Summer
Fox-owned TV stations will test three new programs this summer: Hollywood Today Live, The Daily Help Line and Laughs.
Each show will air on Fox-owned stations in several markets, including New York and Los Angeles. Hollywood Today Live and The Daily Help Line, both one-hour daytime strips, will debut July 14 and Laughs, a half-hour weekly program, will premiere Aug. 2.
In recent years, Fox has runs tests of a number of shows, including Wendy Williams and Bethenny, as well as last summer's Kris (which was not picked up) and The Real, which is going to series in September.
"These three programs are all very distinct," said Fox Television Stations executive vp of programming and development Stephen Brown, who made the announcement with programming senior vp Frank Cicha. "Hollywood Today Live is like a Sharknado version of The View. Help Line answers the question — will people be as honest with our therapists as they are with their own? And Laughs will determine if one talented guy, Steve Hofstetter, can aggregate and curate the funniest show on TV."
Cicha said all three shows were developed in-house by Brown and his team; and plans to distribute them in syndication will be firmed up when and if they do well in the test.
Cicha said that Fox will put all three shows on more stations than it has used in past tests, which typically were limited to about six markets. The two daily shows are scheduled for six week tests; and the weekly show as long as 13 weeks. However, if the shows do not perform well in the ratings, the tests could be shortened.
Hollywood Today Live, from BiteSize Entertainment Networks, is a daily entertainment magazine which will offer celebrity, pop culture and red-carpet coverage. It will be produced in a studio on the corner of Hollywood and Vine enclosed in glass. Hollywood Today Live hosts will be Kristen Brockman, AJ Gibson, Tanner Thomason and Porscha Coleman.
The Daily Helpline is described as an updated version of popular advice columns of the past, with an interactive element. A panel of therapy experts will answer questions from callers, tweeters, social media and in-studio audience. The show will address issues including relationships, addiction, health, trauma and grief counseling. The hosts will Miles Adcox and Spirit. They will be joined by celebrities, including Marie Osmond, Tom Green, TLC's Tionne Watkins, Loni Love, Tabatha Coffey and Brandy, who will share their own experiences. Matt Lutz will serve as executive producer.
Laughs will be a weekly roundup of the American comedy hosted and executive produced by Steve Hofstetter. The program offers comedians, comedy teams and funny people a platform for their talents, Submissions will be taken online. Hofstetter, a popular stand-up comic who has 20 million YouTube views, has produced Trial by Laughter for Comcast and 100 Advantages to Having Kids for Nick Mom, as well as appearing at comedy festivals including Laughing Skull and Laughing Devil.