LMNO pairs Chef LaLa, talker idea

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LMNO Prods., whose credits include the syndicated daytime talker "The Dr. Keith Ablow Show," has partnered with Chef LaLa to create bilingual television shows, including a daytime talker.

The plan is to develop projects for both English- and Spanish-speaking audiences through the exclusive partnership with the celebrity chef, a Cordon Bleu-trained chef and nutritionist best known for focusing on healthy preparations in the Latino kitchen. Chef LaLa, who has made numerous television and radio appearances, also is the author of the cookbook "Latin Lover Lite."

The talk show, tentatively titled "U' LaLa," will focus on healthy living, offering viewers useful information with practical applications. It also will feature cooking elements, though that will not be the primary focus, LMNO president and CEO Eric Schotz said. The project, which is designed to attract a culturally diverse audience, would feature guests from a range of backgrounds, including but not limited to celebrities.

Schotz said LMNO's relationship with Chef LaLa extends back to her being featured in the LMNO-produced "National Body Challenge" on Discovery Health.

"Chef LaLa has what it takes to be a successful daytime host," he said. "She is funny, compelling and smart about her business and has that rare combination that crosses over between English- and Spanish-speaking audiences."

As for the bilingual component, Schotz said that LMNO had been looking for some time for a way to cross over into the Hispanic market. Chef LaLa's manager, Jeremy Brown, president of Sliced Up Entertainment, noted that she has a large, diverse fan base that makes her a great host for bilingual programming.

Added Chef LaLa: "Forming a great team is like a perfect dish: all the right ingredients, heaping amounts of talent, a dash of passion and perfect timing. The partnership with LMNO Prods. and Sliced Up Entertainment is a recipe for success."

Schotz said the bilingual elements of the project are still being worked out, but the idea is that "over the long range, the show could be done in English and Spanish. We're basically creating something that works both ways." The next step is to look for the "right partner" on the show, which will involve talking to everyone from networks and syndicators to advertisers, he said, adding that the options are wide open and even could include launching the show at the local level or launching it in Spanish first.

LMNO has produced more than 700 programs and 60 series for network, cable and syndicated television, including CBS' "Wickedly Perfect" and "Fire Me … Please," Fox's "Guinness World Records: Primetime" and A&E's "Behind Closed Doors With Joan Lunden."
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