Jeremy Kyle bringing U.K. talk show to U.S.

Debmar-Mercury targeting 2011 syndication launch for strip

LAS VEGAS -- Debmar-Mercury will team with producer ITV Studios to launch a U.S. version of British daytime talker "The Jeremy Kyle Show" this year. Following a limited, multiweek test run, Debmar-Mercury plans to roll out the strip in full national syndication in 2011.

The official green light was given by Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein and by ITV Studios president-CEO Paul Buccieri on the eve of NATPE.

"Kyle" has posted annual ratings increases every year since its 2005 debut and ranks as the most-viewed daytime talk show in the U.K. More than 1,000 episodes have been produced.

"ITV Studios' creative vision convinced us that Jeremy Kyle can conquer another continent. His series also provides us with another very strong talk format that can become a long-term franchise for us, just as 'The Wendy Williams Show' did," Marcus said.

Not that launching into the talk-show fray is getting any easier for syndie contenders.

"The challenge for such a transplant show is how quickly and well a host from another culture can pick up and respond to the expectations of the American daytime audience and how well he 'gets' the rhythm of the U.S. daytime strip," a veteran syndicator not involved with a launch this year said.

If the test with Kyle goes well this summer, the show would be offered as cash-barter to stations.

Debmar-Mercury also is unveiling clearances in 65% of the country for E! Entertainment's "True Hollywood Story" on the Fox, CBS, Weigel, Sunbeam, Capitol, Scripps, Raycom and Landmark station groups.