Debmar-Mercury's Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein Sign New Long-Term Deal with Lionsgate
Portfolio of Hit Shows Builds Momentum Entering NATPE
SANTA MONICA, Calif. and MIAMI, Jan. 20, 2016 -- On the heels of yesterday's announcement of the three-year renewal of The Wendy Williams Show and the third season renewal of Craig Ferguson-hosted Celebrity Name Game, Debmar-Mercury Co-Founders and Co-Presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein have signed new long-term agreements with Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a premier next generation global content leader, it was announced today by Lionsgate Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer.
Messrs. Marcus and Bernstein have been part of the Lionsgate family since Lionsgate acquired their Debmar-Mercury production and distribution company in 2006. Debmar-Mercury's roster of programming includes the nationally-syndicated Wendy Williams Show; Celebrity Name Game, which Debmar-Mercury co-produces with FremantleMedia North America and distributes in the U.S.; and FMNA's Steve Harvey-hosted Family Feud, which Debmar-Mercury also distributes in the U.S.
"Mort and Ira are fantastic partners and we're proud to extend our alliance with them for many years to come," said Mr. Feltheimer. "They have built a visionary and entrepreneurial company that is the gold standard in television distribution and production, and they are an integral part of the continuing growth, diversification and scalability of our global television operations."
"Lionsgate has been a great fit for us from the start a decade ago - largely due to the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit Jon created here that still exists today," said Messrs. Marcus and Bernstein. "By operating smartly and nimbly, Lionsgate has achieved tremendous growth and we're proud to have been able to play a part in that. With everything in store, we look forward to many more successes to come in the years ahead."
Reflecting the tremendous momentum generated by its slate, Debmar-Mercury kicked off NATPE yesterday by announcing that Celebrity Name Game has been renewed for a third season. The renewal follows pickups by Tribune Broadcasting and Sinclair Broadcast Group with clearances in over 70% of the U.S. heading into NATPE. The show, hosted by 2015 Daytime Emmy Award-winner Craig Ferguson, has achieved 40% ratings growth over last year in households and its key women 25-54 demo in markets where it has remained in the same time period. Earlier this month it delivered record-tying all-time high national ratings.
Debmar-Mercury also announced The Wendy Williams Show has been renewed through the 2019-20 season on the FOX Television Stations and, combined with renewals on stations belonging to Media General and Cox Broadcasting, has already been cleared in more than 50% of the U.S. entering NATPE. The renewal will take the hit Lionsgate talk show through its 11th season. During November 2015 sweeps, Wendy Williams placed #1 or #2 in its key demo of women 25-54 in most top markets.
Debmar-Mercury, a leading media company specializing in syndication, network, cable and ancillary markets, produces and distributes The Wendy Williams Show; produces and distributes the Craig Ferguson-hosted Celebrity Name Game with co-producer FremantleMedia North America; has U.S. distribution rights to FremantleMedia North America's Steve Harvey-hosted Family Feud; distributes Tyler Perry sitcoms House of Payne and spinoff Meet the Browns, as well as Revolution/CubeVision's Are We There Yet? (starring Ice Cube); and, for FX, sitcoms including Lionsgate Television's Anger Management (starring Charlie Sheen and now also airing in national off-network syndication); and has U.S. TV distribution rights to Tosh.0 and South Park. Debmar-Mercury is a wholly owned subsidiary of Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF), a leading global entertainment company.
Lionsgate is a premier next generation global content leader with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms, video games and international distribution and sales. The Company has nearly 80 television shows on 40 different networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses. These include the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange is the New Black, the multiple Emmy Award-winning drama Mad Men, the hit broadcast network series Nashville, the syndication successes The Wendy Williams Show and Celebrity Name Game (with FremantleMedia), the breakout series The Royals and the Golden Globe-nominated dramedy Casual.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such successes as the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise, the first two installments of the Divergent franchise, Sicario, The Age of Adaline, CBS/Lionsgate's The DUFF, John Wick, Now You See Me, Roadside Attractions' Love & Mercy and Mr. Holmes, Lionsgate/Codeblack Films' Addicted and Pantelion Films' Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rates. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 16,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world. www.lionsgate.com