(August 15, 2002 - New York, NY) - “The Caroline Rhea Show” has hired a number of key staff members for its premiere season, it was announced today by Bridget Potter, the series’ executive producer. Emmy Award-winning Joe Toplyn has been named head writer and a producer; Lori Blackman is head of talent; Jim Ackerman will serve as supervising producer; Cathy Ladman will serve as a writer; Christian McLaughlin is a segment producer; Christine Schomer is a segment producer; Meredith Cohen is music producer; and Jason Gabel is the series’ human-interest producer. “We have assembled an extremely talented staff comprised of veterans from some of the talk/variety genre’s biggest names--Letterman, Rosie, Regis and Leno,” said Potter. “We’ll rely on their experience and expertise to help make ‘Caroline’ a hit.” As head writer and producer, Toplyn will be responsible for overseeing the series’ writing staff. Toplyn is currently nominated for an Emmy Award for his writing on “Late Show with David Letterman” and received Emmys in 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987 for his writing on “Late Night with David Letterman,” as well as several nominations for his work on “Late Show with David Letterman.” He also served as head writer/producer for “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” for two years and as a staff writer for “In Living Color.” Serving as head of talent, Blackman will be responsible for the show’s talent relations and guest bookings. Blackman comes to “Caroline” from “Showbiz Today,” where she helped create, report, produce and book talent for the weekly series. Supervising producer Ackerman joins “Caroline” from Telepictures Productions, the series’ production company, where he was responsible for developing talk, reality and game formats. He’s also served as senior producer for “CBS This Morning” and a producer for “Today” and “Dateline,” among other posts. Ackerman also executive produced “Ready, Set, Cook.” Staff writer Ladman has written for the primetime network series “The Wayne Brady Show,” “Caroline in the City,” “Roseanne” and “Sunday Comics.” She also won an American Comedy Award for Best Female Comic in 1992. Segment producer McLaughlin most recently served as a producer for “Live with Regis and Kelly.” Prior to that, he served as supervising producer for weekly syndicated “The Howard Stern Show” and post-production producer for “The Cindy Margolis Show.” He has also worked as a writer and producer for WNBC-TV (New York), where he received a Writers Guild Award in and five local Emmy Awards. Segment producer Schomer has held research/production positions on “Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder” and three series in the UK-“Michael Moore Live,” “The Awful Truth” and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” Schomer also founded The Newport (RI) International Film Festival and has served as its executive director for the last five years. “Caroline” music producer Cohen comes to the show from Oxygen Media where she served as senior music and talent executive. Prior to that, Cohen worked at “Saturday Night Live” as music/talent coordinator. Human-interest producer Gabel joins “Caroline” from “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” where he served as senior associate producer since 1998. Prior to that, he worked in production for “Public Eye with Bryant Gumbel.” He also worked in publicity at PMK and Huvane Baum Halls Public Relations. “The Caroline Rhea Show” is produced by Travail D’Amour Productions, Inc. in association with Telepictures Productions and is distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.
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