Garry Meier 'tests the waters' for TV talk show

June 23, 2010

Chicago radio veteran Garry Meier, who's been dabbling in television for much of his 30-plus years on the air (with and without partners), has pulled out an A-list of show-biz buddies to appear in his latest video venture.

"The Garry Meier Special," set to air at 10:30 p.m. Sunday, July 11, on Weigel Broadcasting WCIU-Channel 26, will feature interviews with a lineup of longtime Meier pals --  actor Brian Dennehy, comedian Richard Lewis, writer Bill Zehme, and Second City alums George Wendt and Tim Kazurinsky. Also appearing on the one-hour special will be Cubs announcer Len Kasper and Illinois Lottery host Linda Kollmeyer.

Harvey Moshman, executive producer of program development for Weigel Broadcasting and an award-winning veteran of "Wild Chicago," is executive producer of the special. "We're taking Garry Meier, who is Chicago talk radio royalty, tapping into his solid gold Rolodex and then putting him and his celebrity friends on the same set," Moshman said.

Neal Sabin, executive vice president of Weigel Broadcasting, said the special is a compilation of segments Meier, 60, taped at "The U" over the past year. Most of them were completed before he was promoted last April to afternoon drive personality at Tribune Co.-owned news/talk WGN-AM (720). Said Sabin:

"We've been working with Garry to create a talk show vehicle for many months. We've decided to take a good portion of the video that we shot for this effort and create a one-time-only special to test the waters for the viability of going forward as a weekly interview series."

Although the show is billed as a one-shot deal, it's clear that Meier and his agent/wife are hoping it leads to more. But for that to happen, it would have to clear some high hurdles. "We'll be able to judge the viability [of going forward] based on viewer support, ratings, advertiser participation and response, and the economics of production," Sabin said.

Translation: Don't hold your breath.

"The Garry Meier Special" will be rerun at midnight Saturday, July 17, on Weigel's Me-TV.

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