*How you doin’? Wendy Williams is doing just fine in the eyes of her bosses at Debmar-Mercury, which distributes her daily talk show. The company announced Tuesday it has renewed “The Wendy Williams Show” through the 2016-17 television season on FOX Television Stations.
The move cements the show’s return for its sixth, seventh and eighth seasons, announced Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Ira Bernstein and Mort Marcus.
“The Wendy Williams Show has as much momentum as any show on our air right now, both qualitatively and quantitatively,” said Frank Cicha, senior VP of programming for the FOX Television Stations. “Over the last few years, it’s evolved into the ideal lead-out to our morning news blocks. Like our news, the show delivers a day/date immediacy that serves as a blueprint for where we want to be the rest of the day.”
The multi-season FOX commitment, which comes on the heels of a previous two-year deal, follows a strong May metered market sweeps performance for Wendy. Airing at 10 a.m. on FOX’s WNYW New York, Wendy doubled in rating year-to-year in the key daytime demo of women 25-54 on WNYW New York (1.2 rating/9 share to 2.4/16). Additionally, it rose 58% on FOX’s KTTV Los Angeles airing at 11 a.m. and 139% on FOX’s WFLD Chicago at 10 a.m.
Wendy also was the only talk show in all of syndication to post year-to-year growth, leaping 43%.
Boosted by its surge in ratings, Wendy has been in heavy demand by strong network affiliates. Those acquiring it include WJW Cleveland (Local TV/FOX); KPTV Portland, OR (Meredith/FOX); WSOC Charlotte (Cox/ABC); KUSI San Diego (McKinnon); WCMH Columbus (Media General/NBC); WSPA Greenville-Spartanburg (Media General/CBS); WPTV West Palm Beach (Scripps/NBC); WALA Mobile (Lin/FOX); and WLUK Green Bay (Lin/FOX).
The leap in both local and national ratings for the talk show from the Lionsgate-owned producer-distributor started with the most recent expansion in mid-December of the Wendy fan-favorite “Hot Topics” segment. Debmar-Mercury has ordered more original episodes of the show for the summer.
Outside of TV, Williams will star as Matron Mama Morton in the Broadway hit “Chicago” for seven weeks beginning June 25 and her sixth book, titled “Ask Wendy (William Morrow),” went on sale May 7 and is based on her popular, recurring advice segment. She also recently formed Wendy Williams Productions, which will produce reality, game and talk shows.