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.

Staff at the theater, and officials at Laemmle Theaters headquarters, declined to comment.

Reviews of the film have been abysmal, dismissing the drama about the history of FIFA as little more than propaganda for an organization mired in scandal and controversy.

Few Laughs

NBC, which gave the world classic comedies including “Cheers,” “Seinfeld” and “Friends,” has only two sitcoms on its fall TV schedule.

That’s the lowest number since 1978 for the network, which has struggled to launch comedy shows in recent years.

Further demonstrating its sidelining of sitcoms, the Burbank broadcaster, which will instead focus on dramas, is relegating its two comedies, “Undateable” and “People Are Talking,” to Fridays – traditionally the weeknight with the lowest viewership.

Funding Fury

Crowdfunding is dead, claims outspoken director Uwe Boll after failing in two online campaigns to finance the next film he hoped to make, “Rampage 3: No Mercy.”

Boll, who directed video game-to-movie adaptations such as “House of the Dead” and “BloodRayne” fell far below his target figures with recent Indiegogo and Kickstarter campaigns, then took to the Internet to vent his frustration.

In a You Tube video rant titled “F—- you all” he expressed anger at his fan base for not supporting his ambitions with donations and declared, “For me, crowdfunding is absolutely dead.”

He added that he was abandoning the idea of making the new film and instead opting to hit the links.

“I have enough money to play golf until I’m dead,” he said.

Early Night

Tycoon Sumner Redstone clearly wasn’t in the mood for a late night on his 92nd birthday party – as he left the festivities at 8 p.m. according to several Hollywood trades.

The Bel Air bash at Vibrato jazz club and restaurant had earlier seen Tony Bennett serenade the billionaire Viacom and CBS boss with signature hit “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.”

Soon after the veteran entertainment titan left the party, guests including wealthy pals Robert Evans, Michael Milken and Ron Burkle also reportedly headed home.

Staff reporter Sandro Monetti can be reached at smonetti@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 226.

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