British TV talker Jeremy Kyle to jump the pond to US


Debmar-Mercury is teaming with producer ITV Studios to launch a new US version of the highest-rated UK daytime talker, “The Jeremy Kyle Show.” The debut will be later this year.

Following a limited, multi-week on-air preview, Debmar-Mercury plans to roll out the talk show in full national syndication in 2011. The plans to syndicate Kyle in the US were announced Monday (1/25) by Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein, and Paul Buccieri, president-CEO of ITV Studios.

Averaging a 32 share among women and a 26 share of all individuals watching TV, The Jeremy Kyle Show has posted annual ratings increases every year since its 2005 debut and ranks as the most-viewed daytime program in the UK. More than 1,000 episodes of the series have been produced.

“We believe American viewers, stations and advertisers will wholeheartedly embrace Jeremy Kyle, who is such a great talent and brings his unique sensibility to a proven format, in the new U.S. version of this very popular series,” said Bernstein.

According to Marcus, “ITV Studios’ superb creative vision convinced us that Jeremy Kyle can conquer another continent. His series also provides us with another very strong talk format that can spark the interest of viewers during a limited preview window and go on to become a long-term franchise for us, just as The Wendy Williams Show did.”

Kyle, a Londoner by birth, previously presented a portfolio of talk radio programs for more than 12 years in the UK, where his unique ability to dispense honest and direct relationship advice quickly established him as a hugely popular household name. The charismatic host’s talent caught the attention of the UK’s leading commercial broadcaster, ITV, which expanded the talk radio format to television and saw his show quickly become a top rating centerpiece of ITV1’s daytime schedule.

“In less than five years, Jeremy Kyle has become a phenomenon in UK daytime television and has the talent to accomplish the same feat here,” said Buccieri. “This well-honed format crafted by ITV, combined with Debmar-Mercury’s winning track record as an innovative producer-distributor and our own ability to successfully adapt TV formats for US viewers, gives us great confidence in this project,” he added.

 “I am really excited to be working with ITV Studios and Debmar-Mercury in the USA to recreate the success of the UK show stateside. I am particularly looking forward to meeting ordinary American people and hearing about their extraordinary lives. This show isn’t about me; it is about their issues and problems and how we can face them together, with complete honesty and openness, in front of US audiences,” said Kyle of his new show to launch in the US.

Lonnie Burstein, executive VP of programming and production for Debmar-Mercury, and Buccieri negotiated the deal and will jointly oversee production of the show.

The US version of The Jeremy Kyle Show will be distributed domestically in the US by Debmar-Mercury and internationally by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.