Producer-distributor Debmar-Mercury will add two months of original episodes to the fourth season of The Wendy Williams Show, extending production through June and July, after it posted the biggest Nielsen sweeps gains of any talk show competitor and surged to new ratings’ heights in the February sweeps.
Said Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Ira Bernstein and Mort Marcus: “Wendy is absolutely thriving and, with its record-breaking sweeps finish, continuing spectacular ratings growth and ability to build on its lead-in, it is clear that this is the hottest program in the genre. Expanding the number of original episodes will allow us to continue the program’s incredible momentum well into the summer, when our core audience grows with younger viewers drawn to Wendy and her unique take on hot topics of the day.”
The ratings surge started with the most recent expansion in mid-December of the Wendy fan-favorite “Hot Topics” segment, leading to tremendous ratings growth through January and into the recently concluded February sweeps. Wendy finished as the fourth highest-rated metered market talk show among women 25-54—the key daytime demo—averaging a 1.1 rating and 7 share during the month. That represented a stunning 47% share increase in the demo from the most recent sweeps period in November 2012.
Nationally, in a sweep where several talkers suffered noteworthy audience erosion, Wendy was also able to buck the trend and scored the best gains by far of any talk show compared to November and February 2012.
Sweep to sweep, it leaped 35% to a 1.1 rating in women 25-54 and 29% to a 1.3 in households. Consequently, during February, the show saw year-over-year gains of 11% in households and 9% in the demo.
In addition to her talk show, Williams’ sixth book titled “Ask Wendy” is slated to go on sale May 7, 2013 (William Morrow). The book is based on the popular, recurring advice segment on The Wendy Williams Show. Williams recently announced the formation of Wendy Williams Productions, which will produce reality, game and talk shows.