Once again, syndication producers are following their golden rule: imitate.
Thanks to Ricki Lake, there's a slew of new talk shows aimed at young viewers, with shows hosted by the now-grown youths of "The Cosby Show," "The Partridge Family" and "Beverly Hills, 90210," and an offspring of the Beach Boys.
One of the old-timers, "Geraldo," is getting banished to a late time period, 1:30 a.m. on KCBS. And this could very well be the last season of "Donahue"--the show that started it all.
If this all makes you too chatterbrained, there are new versions of "Flipper," "The Outer Limits," "The Hardy Boys" and "Nancy Drew," and spinoffs of "Baywatch" and "Hercules." But this could be the last season of action dramas. Syndicators are still smarting over the failure last year of "RoboCop," "Sirens," "Heaven Help Us" and "Hawkeye."
Here's a rundown of what's new--even if it sounds familiar:
"Better Than Ever": The graying population has not been forgotten. Jane Powell hosts this magazine for seniors. \o7 Sundays at 6:30 a.m. Premiere TBA.\f7
"Wild About Animals": Mariette Hartley hosts a new spin on TV bloopers and home videos, spotlighting all creatures great and small. \o7 Sundays at 2 p.m. Premiere TBA.\f7
"Your Mind and Body": Supermodel Kim Alexis gives health, fitness and beauty tips. \o7 Sundays at 9:30 a.m. Premiere TBA.\f7
"Tales From the Lottery": Dick Clark produces this show that recreates lottery winners' moment of winning--and how they've spent the money. \o7 Premieres in January.\f7
"The George & Alana Show": What happens when you pair the tanned one, George Hamilton, with ex-wife Alana Stewart? They hope the magic success of Regis & Kathie Lee. \o7 Weekdays at 10 a.m. Premieres Monday.\f7
"The Hitchhiker": Page Fletcher stars as the thumb-pointing mystery man, who gets involved in different psycho-thrilling tales each week. The show originally ran on HBO. Sundays at midnight, \o7 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Premieres Sept. 30.\f7
"U.S. Customs: Classified": Writer-producer Stephen J. Cannell hosts this reality series about the officers who catch money launderers, smugglers and child pornographers--and cause an occasional long wait at the airport. \o7 Saturdays at 6 p.m. Premieres Saturday.\f7
"Flipper": More fish stories, although this action adventure is only loosely based on the popular 1960s drama series. \o7 Sundays at 6 p.m. Premieres Oct. 8.\f7
"Carnie": She writes, she sings, she talks. Carnie Wilson, daughter of Beach Boy Brian Wilson and late of the pop music trio Wilson Phillips, gets her own chat show. Expect her to croon a few from time to time. \o7 Weekdays at 2 p.m. Premieres Monday.\f7
"Day & Date": News, entertainment and feature stories. Sound like the morning shows? This one is for the late afternoon hours, hosted by Dana King and Patrick VanHorn, with medical correspondent Dr. Nancy Snyderman. \o7 Weekdays at 3 p.m. Premieres Monday.\f7
"Coast Guard": "Cops" for the water-world crowd. \o7 Saturdays at 4 p.m. Premieres Sept. 23.\f7
"Dr. Dean Edell": Got medical questions? Dr. Edell will answer. \o7 Sundays at 11 a.m. Premieres Sept. 17.\f7
"Haven": Regis Philbin's wife, Joy, charts Martha Stewart territory with tips on home design. \o7 Sundays at 10:30 a.m. Premieres Sept. 17.\f7
"Xena: Warrior Princess": Call this a female companion to last year's syndication success story, "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys," with Lucy Lawless as the warrior who uses martial arts and acrobatics. \o7 Fridays at 9 p.m. Already premiered.\f7
"One West Waikiki": The short-run CBS series returns with Cheryl Ladd as a medical examiner who hops the islands solving medical mysteries. \o7 Saturdays at 2 p.m. Premieres Sept. 30.\f7
"Tempestt": She was "Cosby's" middle child, and now at 22, Tempestt Bledsoe will be the youngest of the talk-show hosts. How long until Bill drops in? \o7 Weekdays at noon. Premieres Monday.\f7
"Danny!": Danny Bonaduce, stuck in "Partridge Family" purgatory for the past two decades, will try to break out on his own as host of this talk show. The twist: there will be a game-show segment each hour. \o7 Weekdays at 1 p.m. Premieres Monday.\f7
"Baywatch Nights": David Hasselhoff's Mitch Buchanan gets clothed and moonlights as a private detective, with buddy Garner Ellerbee (GregAlan Williams) his partner. \o7 Fridays at 8 p.m. Premieres Sept. 23.\f7
"Land's End": "Hunter"'s Fred Dryer plays a private investigator at a Mexican beach resort. Fridays at 9 p.m. \o7 Premieres Sept. 22 at 8 p.m\f7 .
"Stephanie Miller": Stand-up comic and former KFI talk show host gets to compete against Leno and Letterman. Has she talked with Jon Stewart lately? \o7 Weekdays at midnight. Premieres Friday.\f7
"The Hardy Boys": A new TV version of the children's mysteries, which date back to the 1930s. Colin Gray portrays Frank Hardy, a 22-year-old junior investigative reporter; and Paul Popowich is his younger brother Joe, a computer hacker. \o7 Saturdays at 4 p.m. Premieres Sept. 23.\f7