'The Wendy Williams Show' Renewed Through 2016-17 Season

Ruven Afandor
Wendy Williams

UPDATED: The syndicated talker, which has grown 43 percent over the past year, gets a three-season pickup from distributors Debmar-Mercury.

The Wendy Williams Show has been renewed by the Fox Television Stations through the 2016-2017 season. Distributor Debmar-Mercury announced the three-season pickup on Tuesday.

Wendy's renewal comes on the heels of a year of ratings growth for the syndicated talker, especially among the key demographic group of women 25-54. The show grew 43 percent in the past year, according to Debmar-Mercury (a division of Lionsgate). That gave it a 1.2 rating and 8 percent share of the daytime metered markets.

“Fox’s long-term renewal is a testament to the incredible growth the show has experienced this season and the amazing talent of Wendy,” Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Ira Bernstein and Mort Marcus said in a statement. “Our broadcast partners across the country have taken notice, demonstrating their faith in the staying power of this rapidly growing talk franchise with upgrades.”

In the May sweeps, Wendy doubled its year-to-year rating among the key demo on Fox’s WNYW in New York, where it airs at 10 a.m. It was also up 58 percent on Fox’s KTTV in Los Angeles 139 percent on Fox’s WFLD in Chicago.

The Wendy Williams Show has as much momentum as any show on our air right now, both qualitatively and quantitatively,” added Frank Cicha, senior vice president 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.”

Nationally, Wendy also grew, but not as much. In national ratings year to date Wendy has a 12 household rating – up 9 percent from a year earlier -- and a 0.9 rating in the key demo, which translates to an average of 1.6 million viewers a day.

That compares to a 1.1 household rating for the same period last season, with a similar 0.9 in the demo and about 1.5 million viewers. That means she is up an average of 81,000 viewers per day this season compared to last.

The top talk show is Dr. Phil, which has a 3.1 household rating and a 1.9 rating in the demo, averaging 4.2 million viewers a day. Wendy ranks as the 12th most watched talk show in syndication.

The reasons for Wendy’s growth can be traced to a decision late last year to revamp the show by extending the Hot Topics segment, and also a move to offer more original shows and fewer reruns, especially in the summer months.

Upgrades in syndication mean that Wendy is being aired in better time periods and on more and better TV stations.

Among the stations that have picked it up in the past year are WJW Cleveland (local TV/FOX); KPTV Portland, 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).

William’s syndicated show first aired in July 2008 as a test on a limited number of Fox TV stations. After it showed it could draw an audience both in key urban markets like Philadelphia and in other less urban test markets, it went into national syndication.

Williams, who first came to fame on radio, is busy on multiple fronts. She will star on Broadway as Matron Mama Morton in Chicago for seven weeks beginning June 25. Her sixth book, Ask Wendy (William Morrow), went on sale May 7, based on her recurring advice segment.

She also recently formed Wendy Williams Productions, which is developing reality, game and talk shows.