[08/19/08 - 08:13 AM]
Lionsgate's Debmar-Mercury Announces Launch of 'The Wendy Williams Show' on FOX Television Stations in Mid-2009
The series will conclude its six-week on-air preview on Friday, August 22.

[via press release from Lionsgate]

Lionsgate's Debmar-Mercury Announces Launch of 'The Wendy Williams Show' on Fox Television Stations in Mid-2009

SANTA MONICA, Calif. and VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 19 -- Lionsgate's (NYSE: LGF) worldwide television distribution company Debmar-Mercury today announced the launch of "The Wendy Williams Show" on the Fox Television Stations for a mid-2009 start, following a successful multi-week preview in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Detroit.

"Wendy is an extraordinary talent," said Debmar-Mercury Co-President Ira Bernstein. "Wendy 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. We believe Wendy has the potential to be the next generation Oprah and are grateful to Fox for believing in Wendy as much as we do."

Commented Debmar-Mercury Co-President Mort Marcus, "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 we 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, 2008, the program had posted rating increases in key demographics versus the May sweeps, including every key demo in New York and Los Angeles.

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. 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.

"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."

Debmar-Mercury is a worldwide production and distribution company specializing in cable, network, VOD/Pay-Per-View and Pay TV, and has emerged as a leading force in syndication. 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.

In addition to Debmar-Mercury's strong roster, Lionsgate is a leading supplier of television programming with revenues that have grown from $8 million in fiscal 2000 to $210 million in fiscal 2008. The company's impressive TV production slate currently includes the Golden Globe Award-winning drama series "Mad Men," which launched its second season on AMC in July with 16 Emmy Award nominations; Showtime's critically acclaimed hit comedy "Weeds" starring Golden Globe winner Mary-Louise Parker, which is now in its fourth season and recently added three more Emmy nominations to its impressive list of honors; NBC's new suspense and horror anthology series "Fear Itself"; "Crash," the new original drama series based on Lionsgate's Academy Award-winning Best Picture, which is scheduled to debut on Starz October 17; the new Showtime comedy series "Nurse Jackie," starring three-time Emmy Award winner Edie Falco; and the new reality competition series "Scream Queens," which is set to launch on VH1 this Fall.

Through Lionsgate's new television programming joint venture with Ish Entertainment, the company has five TV series slated to air this year and next, including the new reality competition series "Paris Hilton's My New BFF" under a first-look deal with MTV Networks.


Lionsgate is the leading next generation filmed entertainment studio with a major presence in the production and distribution of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment, video-on-demand and digitally delivered content. The Company is leveraging its content leadership and marketing expertise through a series of partnerships that include the highly successful FEARNet branded VOD and Internet horror channel with Sony and Comcast, the recent announcement of the fall 2009 launch of a new premium entertainment channel with partners Viacom, Paramount Pictures and MGM, investment in the leading young men's digital distribution platform Break.com, ownership of the premier independent television syndication company Debmar-Mercury LLC and an alliance with independent filmed entertainment production and distribution company Roadside Attractions. Lionsgate also has forged partnerships with leading content creators, owners and distributors in key territories around the world, including Televisa in the U.S. and Latin America, StudioCanal in the UK, Hoyts and Sony in Australia and Eros International in India.

The Company has generated more than $450 million at the North American theatrical box office in the past year and has released a string of hits including THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM, TYLER PERRY'S MEET THE BROWNS, THE BANK JOB, RAMBO, THE EYE, SAW IV, TYLER PERRY'S WHY DID I GET MARRIED?, GOOD LUCK CHUCK, 3:10 TO YUMA and WAR, most of which have opened at #1 or #2 at the box office. The Company has also forged leadership positions in television and home entertainment with the production of such critically-acclaimed television series as "Weeds" and "Mad Men," the distribution of "Tyler Perry's House of Payne," "Family Feud," "South Park," "Trivial Pursuit" and "The Dead Zone," among others, and approximately 8% market share and the industry's leading box office-to-DVD conversion rate in home entertainment. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 12,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate brand is synonymous with entrepreneurial innovation and original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the globe.

  [august 2008]  


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