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Posted by TSUE on August 18, 2008

The Fox Television Stations group will launch Debmar-Mercury’s The Wendy Williams Show for a mid-2009 start following a successful multi-week preview in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Detroit, announced Frank Cicha, senior vice president of programming, Fox Television Stations, and Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein. 


 In making the announcement, Cicha said, “Everything about the Wendy preview clicked for our stations, from conception to promotion to hitting the air.  It completely broke the mold.  The show is now a proven winner, and we can’t wait to see it debut across the country next year.”

 The Fox-owned stations in New York (WNYW), Los Angeles (KTTV), Dallas (KDFW) and Detroit (WJBK) began offering an unprecedented sneak peek of The Wendy Williams Show on July 14. It will conclude its six-week on-air preview on Aug. 22.

 Marcus commented, “Our plan has always been to offer stations a proven performer with broad appeal to today’s viewers, as well as a production that has been perfected over the course of 30 preview episodes. Now they will have the chance to launch Wendy far ahead of the crowded pack of new talk shows on tap for fall 2009.”

 Through Aug. 13, the program had posted rating increases in key demographics versus the May sweeps, including every key demo in New York and Los Angeles. 

 “Wendy is an extraordinary talent who has attracted the strongest ratings for a new offering in years and generated enormous buzz around the country—unheard of for a show airing only in four markets,” added Bernstein. “We are grateful to Fox for believing in Wendy as much as we do.”

 The Wendy Williams Show is a daily, one-hour entertainment talk show starring New York DJ, syndicated radio host, TV personality and best-selling author Wendy Williams.  Broadcast live from New York, it features Williams’ commentary on celebrity gossip and news events, as well as interviews, fashion and advice segments in which Williams  helps audience members and viewers handle personal life issues involving sex, relationships, money and dating. 

 Williams noted, “Doing the daily show for the past six weeks has really been one of the most exciting times in my life.  It has given me the chance to be myself while living out my dream and connecting with my fans on a whole new level.  I am incredibly excited about coming back next year, and want to thank the Fox Television Stations group and Debmar-Mercury for all their help in getting this show on the air and making it a true phenomenon this summer.” 

 The Fox Television Stations is one of the nation’s largest owned-and-operated network broadcast groups, comprising 27 stations in 18 markets and covering nearly 37.34% of television homes in the U.S.  This includes six duopolies in the top 10 markets: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Washington, D.C. and Houston; as well as duopolies in Minneapolis, Phoenix and Orlando.

 Debmar-Mercury is a worldwide production and distribution company specializing in syndication, cable, network, VOD/Pay-Per-View and Pay TV.  The company produces and distributes The Wendy Williams Show and, in association with Hasbro, Inc., Trivial Pursuit: America Plays; it distributes Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, American Chopper, The Deadliest Catch, South Park; Family Feud, The Surreal Life family of celebrity-based reality shows, The Dead Zone, entertaining series for educational/informational time periods, and an extensive movie library featuring titles from Revolution Studios and Lionsgate.  Debmar-Mercury is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), the leading next generation filmed entertainment studio.


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