It looks like Tribune Entertainment, which launched its first series back in 1982, At the Movies with Chicago movie critics Roger Ebert and the late Gene Siskel, is ramping up its first-run syndication efforts, after Tribune syndication executive Clark Morehouse met with new owner Sam Zell.
After a string of successes by launching talk shows Geraldo in 1987, and The Joan Rivers Show in 1989, and sci-fi series Gene Roddenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict in 1997, the company has struck out in recent years with shows like Richard Simmons’ Dreammaker, Talk or Walk, and Beyond With James Van Praagh.
The company also struck out in the early ’90’s with Geraldo’s investigative series Now It Can Be Told and a talk shows hosted by Dennis Miller and Charles Perez.
Currently, the company syndicates weekend series American Idol Rewind, and off-cable late fringe strip South Park (for Debmar-Mercury.), plus the U.S. Farm Report.
Another series the company syndicates, the long-running Soul Train, has been on production hiatus for approximately a year, and Tribune is currently filling time periods with reruns of the venerable music series from the ’70’s and ’80’s. No word on if or when the series will resume production (Though this new game plan from Tribune does give hope that Soul Train may return with new episodes soon.)