Fox TV is going back to a tried and tested policy to launch two L.A. talk shows this summer.

The concept of “summer tryouts” – soft-launch rollouts in select markets during summer months before going national in the fall – helped the likes of “TMZ Live” and “The Wendy Williams Show” find their feet and become hits.

Now the same tactic will be used to launch a pair of daytime talk shows, both featuring married couples: “The Boris and Nicole Show,” with actors Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker, will start July 6, followed by the premier of “Ice and Coco,” starring rapper-actor Ice-T and his wife, Coco Austin, on Aug. 3.

Stephen Brown, Fox’s executive vice president of programming and development, said testing shows for a shorter period reduces risk for the studio and TV stations.

“Generally, a show is launched for an entire year, chaining both the studio and the station groups to a large financial commitment,” he said. “Testing enables us to see if a show works, with minimal financial risk. By airing on select stations, we are also able to be more creative and to take bigger chances, something that’s harder to do in the traditional model.”

The timing helps, too, added Frank Cicha, Fox’s senior vice president of programming, who noted that the summer test shows are often up against reruns of other programs.

“We can offer an original slate of summer programming with shows that do something different,” Cicha said.

In this case, that difference is that the shows mark the first – and second – time a married couple have hosted a TV talk show.

Little Gross

Embattled FIFA hasn’t had much to smile about lately, and the box-office earnings for a new film championing soccer’s international administrative body won’t do anything to change that.

Scripted historical drama “United Passions” – which stars Tim Roth as recently resigned President Sepp Blatter – is the movie world’s highest-profile flop of the year with an opening-weekend take of $607. And no, that’s not a typo: Ticket sales totaled just six hundred and seven dollars.

Only 10 theaters in the United States showed the film, which also stars Gerard Depardieu and Sam Neill, and for which FIFA reportedly paid nearly $22 million of a $29 million production budget.

The lone movie house in Los Angeles to show the film – Laemmle’s Noho 7 in North Hollywood – represented an outsized portion of the film’s paltry opening-weekend ticket sales: The theater sold $164 worth of tickets, more than a quarter of ticket sales over all.


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