Montel doing infomercials


The New York Times reports although Montel Williams’s talk show was canceled this year, it seemed to have been reincarnated recently as hour-long infomercials: “As on his old show, Montel tackles a new topic in each one. Now he also offers a solution with a price tag. Williams had gathered a live audience, self-help experts and people who had dealt with problems like the death of a daughter, and he stood before them, gesticulating, tearing up and nodding thoughtfully.

After almost an hour of discussing the problem of depression, Montel presented the guests with the answer to their problems: a set of books he had written. In other episodes, he suggested solving various issues by buying a debt-relief kit, a rotisserie grill or a blender. For this was not a television show. It was an infomercial, “Living Well With Montel,” and Williams is being paid depending on how well the products sell.”

“Williams has put his “Living Well” brand on several new products, and he will soon promote other brands, too, like books from Men’s Health magazine,” said the story. “He is paid no salary, only a share of profits that depends on how much he sells.”

For now, the products are available only through a toll-free number and a Web site.

Tristar Products, which owns the production and merchandise, began showing the infomercial this month on national cable channels and broadcast nets, in late-night/early mornings.

Keith Mirchandani, Tristar CEO, told the paper he would spend about $2.5 million a week buying ad time for the infomercial, and expected to sell about $5 million worth a week of the merchandise Montel promotes in the production.