RDF nabs 'Queen for a Day' rights

Game show ran for 20 years on network TV

RDF USA has obtained format rights to the long-running reality game show "Queen for a Day," with plans to pitch an updated version to broadcast and cable networks starting this week.

"Queen" started out as a radio show in the late 1940s before moving to network TV, where it ran for 20 years. The original, hosted by Jack Bailey, featured women recounting their hard-luck tales and personal stories for a chance to win prizes based on the studio audience's applause.

The format rights had remained with the family of "Queen" creator-producer Ray Morgan until October, when former Univision TV president Michael Wortsman was able to acquire them from Ray Morgan Jr. RDF USA (ABC's "Wife Swap") then made a deal with Wortsman to control the rights.

The format is being reworked for a contemporary audience, but details are being kept under wraps. RDF USA CEO Chris Coelen, who would exec produce with Wortsman and RDF USA's Greg Goldman, did say that the producers are planning to inject more emotion into the new version.

"This is an iconic brand that's pitch-perfect for today's audience," Coelen said. "And it's so unbelievably advertiser-friendly."

The original series included partnerships with such advertisers as Johnson & Johnson, Hoover and Westinghouse.

Goldman added that the show would be a "one-hour roller-coaster ride of heart-pounding drama, surprise revelations and huge wish fulfillment."