NEW YORK –
Plucky Food Network star Rachael Ray has cooked Tony Danza's goose, at least on Ch. 7.
Ray's new talk show will air next fall on WABC, which will drop "The Tony Danza Show" after two seasons.
But Buena Vista, which produces "Danza," says this doesn't mean the show will end.
"We are fully committed to 'The Tony Danza Show' for the '06/'07 season," Buena Vista said in a statement yesterday.
"While we are dis appointed by the loss . . . in New York and Philadelphia . . . we are actively pur suing new station partners in those markets for next year."
"Danza" occupies the plum 10 a.m. timeslot on Ch. 7 following "Live with Regis & Kelly" and per forms well in New York, often win ning its timeslot against tough competition, in cluding "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."
That 10 a.m. slot would make sense for Ray's new talk show, described as a mix of cooking and entertainment.
Ray's as-yet-untitled show also has the added muscle of Oprah Winfrey's production company, Harpo Productions, which is co-producing with King World and Scripps Networks.
King World officials had no comment yesterday after news of Ray's Ch. 7 deal broke in the trades.
"If I had to predict, I think there's a very good chance that Rachael Ray will get that [10 a.m.] timeslot," says industry analyst Marc Berman of Mediaweek.
"But, then again, if people aren't watching Tony Danza, they might not watch Rachael Ray.
"She's getting a lot of buzz and good clearances, but that doesn't necessarily mean she's going to set the world on fire.
"But one thing about King World — they know how to get shows on the air."
Nationally, "The Tony Danza Show's" ratings are down 15 percent in households.
"I am very disappointed to be losing the support of the ABC stations in New York and Philadelphia. It is a tough decision to accept," Danza said yesterday.
"Having said that, I am also very proud of the staff, crew and the show and hope to continue on other stations in these two markets."