The one-year-old Pax broadcast network, hoping to garner late-summer attention before the onslaught of big-network programming in September, trots out four new series this month.
The shows include two dramas, a showcase and competition for new talent and a program centered on collectibles. WPXW, Channel 66, in Fairfax Station, Va., is among Pax stations.
"Destination Stardom" revives one of syndicated television's more successful shows, "Star Search." Al Masini, who created that glossy talent show in the early 1980s, is at the helm of this one-hour program, airing Mondays at 8 p.m.
Masini, who also created syndicated mainstays such as "Solid Gold," "Entertainment Tonight" and "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," retired in 1994 to Hawaii, where he and his wife designed, built and decorated a mountain-top home with a view of Diamondhead.
When he heard Pax was interested in a talent show, Masini recalled, he agreed to do it -- as long as it was located in Hawaii, once home base for network hits such as "Hawaii Five-O" and "Magnum, P.I."
"Destination Stardom" resembles "Star Search," with the added Pax-friendly idea of having one of the talent categories be a family act.
"It's an old concept," said the energetic, 70-year-old Masini, listing Major Bowes, Ted Mack and Arthur Godfrey among the broadcasters who made the idea work. "You change generations, and you have to make the shows contemporary for the time in which you're doing them. People like competition -- the Olympics, the Super Bowl. This is a talent Olympics."
Masini's "Star Search" ran a dozen years, and he lists Rosie O'Donnell, LeAnn Rimes, Sharon Stone, Jenny Jones, Drew Carey, Dennis Miller, Alanis Morissette and Sinbad among its contestants.
Lisa Canning, a correspondent on "Entertainment Tonight" the past three years, hosts "Destination Stardom."
This rendition of the talent-show concept adds a competitive note: A contestant who has won can take the winnings and quit, or choose to put that winning performance to a vote of the judges after seeing the next competitor.
"You have to decide whether to take the money and run or risk losing it," said Masini.
"Treasures in Your Home: The World of Collecting," which debuted Aug. 9, puts an interactive spin on an old concept.
"Treasures in Your Home," hosted by John Burke, airs weeknights at 7 and features live Internet auctions, in addition to appraisers who examine vintage objects and collectibles.
Executive producer Larry Ferber, who has had experience in live television working on the Joan Rivers and Regis Philbin programs, believes this approach takes PBS's "Antiques Roadshow" another block or two down the information highway.
"If you have an item that's appraised, and you appreciate the appraisal, you can put it on the Web site for auction," Ferber said.
"Treasures" features segments on various aspects of collecting or objects of interest. There are also game-show elements, with trivia questions and a segment in which contestants are asked to choose the most valuable object from a group of items.
"Chicken Soup for the Soul," a series of stories based on the books of Jack Canfield and Marc Victor Hansen, airs Tuesdays at 8. A special aired last year.
And Wednesdays at 8, Pax offers "Twice in a Lifetime," a time-travel drama series based on the premise that characters get to go back and change one decision they've always regretted. Barney Rosenzweig, who produced "Cagney and Lacey," is in charge of the production.
Another new Pax program, "Hope Island," will debut Sept. 12. The series is set in a small town that seems to draw people seeking new beginnings. Foremost among the cast regulars: Cameron Daddo as a minister. The hour-long drama will air Sundays at 9 p.m.