Debmar-Mercury to test


Debmar-Mercury has teamed with ITV Studios for the new talker “The Chefs” and has acquired worldwide ownership rights to the ITV-produced series. Debmar-Mercury will likely offer a multi-week on-air test of the strip later this year or in 2011, before taking it into national distribution, announced Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein, and Paul Buccieri, president-CEO of ITV. Lonnie Burstein, EVP Programming and Production, will oversee production for Debmar.

IT, meanwhile, will handle international distribution and also produce all local formats outside of the U.S. of The Chefs, which brings together four leading chefs. The U.S. version will be taped in New York and feature a daily roundtable discussion about a wide variety of tempting food-related topics.

It marks the second original production pairing between Debmar-Mercury and ITV his year. The two companies are also collaborating on the launch of a new U.S. version of the highest-rated U.K. daytime talker, The Jeremy Kyle Show.

Casting is about to get underway for the chef panel show, with a specific food-related trend or topic discussed each day. In addition to preparing delectable dishes, the chefs will tackle subjects ranging from what to pack in your kids’ lunches and making healthy choices to learning a celebrity’s favorite dish and improving your kitchen skills.