NATPE News: "Don’t Forget The Lyrics" returns

Move likely ends Deal’s run ; Debmar-Mercury clears True Hollywood Story in 65 percent of the country; Nancy Grace’s format revealed

Today is the first day of the NATPE convention, a three day extravagnza being held in Las Vegas where buyers and sellers meet up. Originally, this was a large syndication convention where shows were sold, but over time, it evolved into a smaller event where new media and other television properties are trotted out.

This is the last time the convention will be held in Sin City, at least for now: next year, the convention moves to Miami. Here’s the latest from day one of the convention:

– In a surprise move, Twentieth Television has brought out the former Fox game show Don’t Forget The Lyrics to market. The program was sold to My Network TV to air on prime-time on Tuesday nights, daytime first-run syndication, and also to cable channel VH-1.

Locally, the show was sold to Fox-owned WPWR-TV which will likely fill one of the hours being vacated by Jerry Springer, which moves to WCIU-TV this fall. The show was also sold to nine other Fox O&Os with My Network TV duopolies.

On My Network TV, Lyrics wil replace NBC Universal’s Deal or No Deal in the Tuesday 8 p.m. (CT) time slot. The host of the new version is Mark McGrath, late of the band Sugar Ray. He replaces original host Wayne Brady, who is now hosting CBS’ Let’s Make A Deal. As reported here last week, Deal or No Deal dropped 35 percent of its Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader lead-in, prompting the change.

As for Deal or No Deal, the cancellation from My Network TV will likely end the game show’s run. NBC Universal has yet to make a formal decision on the show’s future in syndication.

Also of note from NATPE:

-Debmar Mercury announced clearences for True Hollywood Story, with 65 percent of the country slated to see daily one-hour airings of the off-E! show. While specific clearences weren’t announced, station groups were – among them were Weigel Broadcasting, which makes it a good bet the show will show up on WCIU this fall.

– Nancy Grace’s new syndicated show format was finally revealed today. The CBS Television Distribution show won’t be a traditional courtroom show like Judge Judy – but one which will have a “next-gen” look, which the set will somewhat resemble the Starship Enterprise (in a nod to sister CBS property Star Trek, no doubt.) Swift Justice with Nancy Grace will also be invented in technology, using Skype and video teleconfrencing. Ms. Grace will use different kinds of evidence to determine cases, from DNA to lie detectors.

But with the Starship Enterprise layout, look for a lot of geeks on this show settling disputes. I can see it now…The Case of The Lost Cylon Action Figure…  Leonard taking Sheldon to court over a busted Dell computer … The Case of the stolen Green Lantern Comic Book … (hey, it could happen…)