BET Networks has signed a deal with Debmar-Mercury for the exclusive cable run of the syndicator’s “The Wendy Williams Show.”
As part of the agreement, BET will air “Wendy Williams” the same day it airs in national syndication. The simultaneous cable-syndication model is rare, but not unprecedented.
By carving out a day-and-date cable run for “Wendy Williams,” Debmar-Mercury has gone a long way towards generating a profit on the first season of the show in a difficult ad economy, according to an industry source familiar with the deal. The talk strip will air on the Fox TV Stations and on other broadcasters representing 95 percent of the country.
Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein negotiated the deal with Barbara Zaneri, executive VP of programming strategy, scheduling and acquisitions for BET Networks.
"After two solid quarters of growth at BET, we’re thrilled that ‘The Wendy Williams Show’ will be joining our lineup in July to strengthen the network’s momentum," Zaneri said.
BET has been reshaping its programming over the past year, and it’s understood that the Williams show will be a key part of the networks’ continued programming evolution over the next year.
"BET is a great cable network that will expand (Williams’) reach to an entirely new audience, enhancing our already strong lineup of stations," Bernstein said.
“Wendy Williams” had a successful six-week trial run on Fox stations last summer. The series will be taped in New York. Tallk show veteran Rob Dauber is executive producer.