Thursday, January 11, 2007

Fox is stepping up its efforts in the daytime broadcast race with a new morning show that will go head to head with ABC’s “Live With Regis and Kelly” at 9 a.m. weekdays.

“The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet,” featuring Fox News Channel veterans Mike Jerrick and Juliet Huddy, will debut Jan. 22, Fox announced yesterday.

The hour-long program will offer a mix of celebrity interviews, lifestyle segments and audience participation.

“We’ll have fashion, beauty, health, relationships — Mike loves to talk about his love life,” Miss Huddy joked.

The show, which will be broadcast live from New York, will discuss water-cooler fodder as well as family issues like parenting.

“The target audience is women and probably mostly women who have children,” Mr. Jerrick said.

In addition to “Live With Regis and Kelly,” the “Morning Show” will compete with the third hour of “Today” on NBC and local news on CBS.

“It’s like five parties are being thrown at 9 o’clock in the morning and you go to the one with the people you want to see,” Mr. Jerrick said, adding that he welcomes the comparison with “Live With Regis and Kelly.”

“I think Regis is the king of doing this and if we can come close to his success, that’d be great,” he said. “We know how to do this; we just need some people to watch.”

Miss Huddy noted that the duo is not “reinventing the wheel,” but she said their chemistry sets them apart. The two — who tease each other with the easy rapport of a brother and sister — have worked together for more than four years, first as co-hosts of Fox News Channel’s weekend edition of “Fox and Friends,” and most recently, on “DaySide,” the cable network’s daily live-audience talk show.

“Normally, they take two people and they shove them together,” Miss Huddy said, calling the day she met Mr. Jerrick “the greatest day in my professional life.”

But, she stressed: “We are not dating.”

Mr. Jerrick said the new gig will be the opposite of “DaySide” and probably feature 10 percent hard news, instead of 80 percent to 90 percent.

Miss Huddy summed up: “This show is going to let us go nuts.”

The “Morning Show” will be sandwiched between “Fox 5 Morning News,” which airs on WTTG-TV from 7 to 9 a.m., and “Rachael Ray,” which previously aired at 9 a.m. but will move to 10 a.m. Fox is the only one of the big four broadcast networks that airs a locally produced morning show instead of a national program.

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