Updated With Press Release:
DEBMAR-MERCURY WILL CONTINUE YEAR-ROUND PRODUCTION ON
‘THE WENDY WILLIAMS SHOW’ FOR A SECOND CONSECUTIVE SUMMER
Remains in Production as Talker Achieves Best Household Sweeps Share Ever;
Soars 50% vs. First May Book in 2010, Posting Steady Growth Each and Every Year
New York and Los Angeles, May 30, 2014 – Debmar-Mercury, a leading media company specializing in syndication, network, cable and ancillary markets, today announced that it would keep The Wendy Williams Show in production through June and July for a second consecutive year. The on-going summer production schedule comes as the nationally syndicated talker achieved its best metered market May sweeps performance ever in share, soaring 50 percent since its first May book in 2010 and posting steady growth in each and every year.
With a 1.4 metered market household rating and 5 share in the most recent sweeps, Wendy has grown from a 1.0/3 share in May 2010, when it concluded its first full season in national syndication following a six-week summer test in 2008. Its May sweeps share has consistently climbed from a 3.2 in its first year to a 3.5, 4.0, 4.6 and this year’s 5.0, improving 9 percent year-over-year as its lead-in slipped 3 percent.
Wendy continued to dominate its time period in New York with a first-place 2.1 household rating, while improving from second to first place in Washington, D.C.(1.9 rating), Phoenix (1.7 rating) and Miami (2.3 rating).
Additionally, the show is helping to grow the household share with substantial double- and triple-digit gains versus May 2013 in 32 metered markets, including KTTV Los Angeles (up 19 percent to 3.9), WFLD Chicago (up 24 percent to 3.8), WFXT Boston (up 103 percent to 2.5), WOMY Pittsburgh (up 221 percent to 2.9), WCTX Hartford (up 198 percent to 4.8), KMCH Kansas City (up 141 percent to 1.5) and KVCW Las Vegas (up 250 percent to 2.0)
Meanwhile, in the separate Nielsen national syndication rankings, season-to-date the talk show posted a 19 percent gain in both households (1.18 to 1.4) and women 25-54 (0.89 to a fifth-place 1.06) through May 18 — the most recent figures available — and achieved the largest percentage gain in the demo of any of the 11 returning talkers.
“We believe the ratings strength we’ve seen over the past season and during the May sweeps, despite having weaker lead-ins, is due in part to remaining in year-round production since last summer,” Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein commented. “By keeping the lights on throughout June and July, in a quiet period traditionally reserved for first-run shows to take their summer hiatuses, we intend to once again follow a strategy that has worked very well for us this past year.”
They added, “By remaining in production, we can offer Wendy’s younger fans that are home from school and college the opportunity to get their take on the day’s hottest topics and guests from a talented, multi-faceted host whose rising popularity is a reflection of her universal appeal.”
As one of the fastest-growing shows in daytime, Wendy is one of only four talkers – out of 42 that have premiered in the past 12 years – that has lasted five or more seasons and are still growing (alongside Dr. Phil, Ellen and Steve Wilkos). Her show has been renewed through 2017, guaranteeing it will continue for at least eight seasons.
The host remains very much on top of pop culture, which is why her viewers have the youngest average audience age of any daytime talk show at 48 years (versus 54 for Ellen and Steve Harvey). The show attracts guests with broad appeal, including Sarah Jessica Parker and Marc Anthony, both of whom appeared this past season.
Williams, whose program appears in 52 countries, recently became the first talk show host ever to donate items to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
The first series from her own production slate, Wendy Williams Productions’ Celebrities Undercover, premiered March 18 on Oyxgen and featured celebs like Kim Kardashian being disguised with prosthetics to surprise fans. In addition, she released her seventh book and first romance novel, “Hold Me In Contempt,” in April.
Debmar-Mercury, a leading media company specializing in syndication, network, cable and ancillary markets, produces and distributes The Wendy Williams Show and, starting in fall 2014, the Craig Ferguson-hosted Celebrity Name Game with co-producer FremantleMedia North America; has U.S. distribution rights to FremantleMedia North America’s Steve Harvey-hosted Family Feud; distributes Tyler Perry sitcoms House of Payne and spinoff Meet the Browns, as well as Revolution/CubeVision’s Are We There Yet? (starring Ice Cube); and, for FX, sitcoms including Lionsgate Television’s Anger Management (starring Charlie Sheen and entering off-network syndication in September 2014) and Partners (starring comedy legends Martin Lawrence and Kelsey Grammer, set to premiere in 2014 and entering broadcast syndication in fall 2017); and has U.S. TV distribution rights to South Park, Hell’s Kitchen and a movie library featuring titles from Revolution Studios. Debmar-Mercury is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company.
The Wendy Williams Show will produce and run new episode in June and July for the second straight year. Season-to-date the talk show is up 19 percent in both Households and Women 25-54 versus the prior season. In a statement, distributor Debmar-Mercury presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein said, “We believe the ratings strength we’ve seen over the past season and during the May sweeps, despite having weaker lead-ins, is due in part to remaining in year-round production since last summer. By keeping the lights on throughout June and July, in a quiet period traditionally reserved for first-run shows to take their summer hiatuses, we intend to once again follow a strategy that has worked very well for us this past year.”