NATPE kicks off with news of new Debmar-Mercury show

Debmar-Mercury is giving attendees of NATPE something to talk about as the confab kicks off Monday in Las Vegas.

The indie distrib has teamed with ITV Studios to produce a daytime talker hosted by British radio and TV personality Jeremy Kyle. Debmar’s plan is to recruit a handful of stations for a test run this summer with the hopes of a national rollout next year.

“The Jeremy Kyle Show” will be a lifestyle and relationship-oriented talker in the “Maury Povich” or “Sally Jessy Raphael” mold. Debmar co-toppers Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein said they see an opportunity in the daytime firstrun landscape for a new face with a bit of an edge in his approach.

The announcement of Debmar’s plan for “Jeremy Kyle” is a welcome bit of programming news to coincide with the confab that once was the nexus of the syndie programming biz. But in a sign of the depressed ad market for local TV, there are only two new strips from major distribs in the pipeline for the fall of 2010: Gaveler “Swift Justice With Nancy Grace,” from CBS Television Distribution; and a show hosted by Oprah Winfrey’s design guru, Nate Berkus, from Harpo Prods. and Sony Pictures TV. “Swift Justice” is already cleared on TV stations covering 90% of U.S. TV households.

“We believe there’s a market for it if he can hit the right tone for this country,” Marcus said. “It’s so rare that you get to try out a new show with somebody who has done this kind of TV a thousand times before.”

NATPE runs today through Wednesday at the Mandalay Bay.

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