Family Taps ABC's Behar for Specials

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ABC Family is turning to The View's
Joy Behar — talent from the cable network's broadcast sibling, ABC — for a five-night series of specials on Love, Hate & Joy, officials said last week.

The half-hour shows, which kick off Aug. 11 and then air on consecutive nights, will be taped before a live audience.

Love, Hate & Joy
will take a comedic look at love, from dating to divorce. The set-up allows Behar to provide her own perspective on relationships, with each installment incorporating a special guest who'll discuss that night's topic.

Some of the guests lined up include Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo, Whoopi Goldberg and Gene Simmons.

Love, Hate & Joy
will air from 10:30 to 11 p.m., with a lead-in each night from another new ABC Family program, The Last Resort,
a reality show about four couples who are about to separate, but opt to work with coaches to resolve their problems.

SHAPIRO'S MOVES

Love, Hate & Joy
and The Last Resort
represent Angela Shapiro's first attempts at original fare for ABC Family. Shapiro, who was named the network's president earlier this year, said she is essentially experimenting to finding the right focus for the cable network.

Shapiro has also ordered 13 episodes of a third series, a primetime reality show called My Life As A Sitcom,
which is slated to debut in January.

"I'm just here a few months and trying to get my arms around how the network needs to be positioned," Shapiro said last week. "The summer is a good time to look at programming that is not exactly what we've seen on the family channel."

Behar's new show will talk about relationships in a "fun" and "relatable way," according to Shapiro.

"In terms of ABC, we look at family in a broad sense," Shapiro said. "We're able to tap into the talent at ABC.

"And as for the definition of family, the perception of family is much broader than the traditional definition. … What we look at is programming that reflects families in the broadest sense."

For her part, in a prepared statement Behar joked that Love, Hate & Joy
will save its audience "years of therapy."

Love, Hate & Joy
will be produced by Bill Geddie, who is also executive producer of The View
and The Barbara Walters Specials.
As head of marketing for ABC Daytime, Shapiro was involved in the creation and launch of The View.
She went on to become president of ABC Daytime.

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