the vine


Syndie courts Sen. Pothole

Al D'Amato has his sights set on daytime. The former U.S. senator from New York has received interest from major syndicators on a court show he is shopping for fall 2009. D'Amato, a Republican who served in the Senate from 1981-99, was nicknamed "Senator Pothole" for his willingness to meet with constituents and help them with their individual cases. He also was known for his lengthy and at times comical filibusters on the floor of the Senate, one of which found him answering questions from a visiting colleague, reciting names and singing "South of the Border." He published a book, "Power, Pasta & Politics: The World According to Senator Al D'Amato," in 1995 and founded the consulting firm Park Strategies four years later. His reps at Rebel Entertainment Partners declined comment Thursday. Court is one of the most robust genres in first-run syndication, with no fewer than 11 now on the air and two more — Sony's "Judge Karen" and Program Partners "Family Court With Judge Penny" — set to debut in the fall. Court shows are perceived as one of the safer bets in daytime because they continue to draw solid ratings, led by perennial front-runner "Judge Judy." (Kimberly Nordyke)