Ellen DeGeneres to Produce ABC Hidden-Camera Prank Show

Inspired by a bit from her daytime talk show and hosted by 'The Goldbergs' star Wendi McLendon-Covey.
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Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellen DeGeneres

ABC is getting into the hidden-camera prank show space.

The network announced Wednesday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour that it has picked up to series Repeat After Me, an unscripted series produced by Ellen DeGeneres and based on a bit from her daytime talk show.

Hosted by The Goldbergs star Wendi McLendon-Covey, Repeat hails from Warner Horizon Television — DeGeneres and her A Very Good Production banner is under an overall at WBTV. The series will premiere Tuesday, Feb. 17, and air at 8:30 p.m., where it will be paired with buzzy freshman comedy Fresh Off the Boat.

The series will see McLendon-Covey, via remote earpiece, informing celebrities what to do with everyday people. At the end of each half-hour episode, the best moment of the night will be announced in front of a live studio audience. The first episode will feature Grey's Anatomy star Ellen Pompeo and Private Practice alum Taye Diggs as well as Harry Connick Jr.

Exec producers on Repeat include The Ellen DeGeneres Show's DeGeneres, Mary Connelly, Ed Glavin and Andy Lassner, as well as the syndicated series' co-EP Kevin A. Leman II, Jason Goldberg, James Breen and A Very Good Production's Jeff Kleeman.

The series becomes the latest bit from an alternative series to be spun off. Spike TV recently ordered Lip Sync Battle, a bit that originated on Jimmy Fallon's The Tonight Show.

Repeat also comes as hidden-camera shows have been making a resurgence of late. TV Land recently aired a Candid Camera reboot (that will not be returning). TBS has Who Gets the Last Laugh, hosted by Donald Faison; MTV recently revived Ashton Kutcher's Punk'dVivica A. Fox will host Lifetime's Prank My Mom; and TruTV has Impractical Jokers, among others. NBC recently tried its hand at the genre with Betty White's Off Their Rockers. The show ran for two seasons before it was canceled and revived at Lifetime.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
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