The Kitty Kelley Show has hardly been the cat’s meow of the fall TV syndication season. The talk show that was supposed to feature the celebrity biographer whose tell-all tomes have embarrassed the likes of Frank Sinatra and Nancy Reagan has been scrapped before it ever reached the air. According to sources, the problem appears to be the glut of such shows. By mid-May, only 28 markets (a mere 30 percent of the country) had bought Kelley’s offering, so syndicator MCA pulled the plug.
Now the stations are griping that the last-minute pullout has left a hole in their lineups, and they wish MCA had shown a little patience. ”You can’t expect to show a profit at the beginning,” says Jules Moreland, programming director for KFMB-TV in San Diego.
Kelley, whose acid pen has made a lot of enemies, also may have been part of the problem. The pilot, featuring an exclusive interview with Michael Jackson’s folks, Joe and Katherine, was said to be promising, but finding a season’s worth of guests may have been difficult. Says a source who worked on Kelley, ”A publicist friend told me, ‘I want you to realize that none of my people will go on your show.”’ No comment, for once, from Kitty.