Wendy Williams going national

Six-week preview yields good results on Fox stations

Wendy Williams has found a national home on the Fox Television Stations group.

Her hourlong daytime talker, "The Wendy Williams Show," is set to launch on the station group in mid-2009 after its six-week preview on Fox-owned stations in New York (WNYW), Los Angeles (KTTV), Dallas (KDFW) and Detroit (WJBK).

The show, distributed by Debmar-Mercury, will end its preview run Friday. The parties said the talker posted rating gains for the stations in key demos over the May sweep.

"Everything about the 'Wendy' preview clicked for our stations, from conception to promotion to hitting the air," said Frank Cicha, senior vp programming at Fox Television Stations, which comprises 27 stations in 18 markets.

Williams has "generated enormous buzz around the country -- unheard of for a show airing only in four markets," said Ira Bernstein, who serves as co-president of Debmar-Mercury alongside Mort Marcus.

Marcus said the show's midyear launch date will give the stations "the chance to launch Wendy far ahead of the crowded pack of new talk shows on tap for fall 2009." Confirmed talkers targeted for a fall 2009 launch include a Marie Osmond-hosted show from Program Partners and Harpo Prods.' "Dr. Oz," distributed by Sony Pictures TV.