BET Networks has acquired Debmar-Mercury’s The Wendy Williams Show to air beginning Monday, July 13, when the talk show debuts in national syndication.
Barbara Zaneri, BET Networks’ Executive Vice President of Programming Strategy, Scheduling and Acquisitions, and Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein made the announcement today.
After a successful four-market, six-week preview last summer on the Fox Television Stations in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas and Detroit, the one-hour entertainment talk show hosted by Williams will premiere simultaneously on TV stations covering more than 95 percent of the United States and BET.
“After two solid quarters of growth at BET, we’re thrilled that The Wendy Williams Show will be joining our line-up in July to strengthen the network’s momentum,” said Barbara Zaneri, Executive Vice President Programming Strategy, Scheduling and Acquisitions, who negotiated the deal for BET Networks.
“BET is a great cable network that will expand this proven performer’s reach to an entirely new audience, enhancing our already strong lineup of stations,” Marcus/Bernstein said.
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.
About BET Networks
BET Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 98 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of businesses extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET Digital Networks – BET J, BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.
Debmar-Mercury, a worldwide media company specializing in syndication, network, cable and ancillary markets, produces and distributes The Wendy Williams Show, debuting in July 2009; distributes Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and spinoff Meet the Browns; produces and distributes Trivial Pursuit: America Plays, in association with Hasbro, Inc.; distributes strips Family Feud, South Park and True Hollywood Story, as well as weeklies American Chopper, Deadliest Catch and The Dead Zone; and a movie library featuring titles from Revolution Studios and Lionsgate. In September 2007, Debmar-Mercury established a London-based international television distribution unit focused on acquiring international formats for U.S. and worldwide distribution, as well as licensing U.S. television formats to the global market. Debmar-Mercury is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading next generation studio.