Williams’ talkshow bows big in NY

Show appearing in three other test markets

Nationally syndicated radio personality Wendy Williams has engineered a successful transition to TV: Her daily hourlong talkshow beat every other program in New York among women 18-34 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. during its premiere week on Fox’s WNYW.

Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury is distributing the series on Fox TV stations in three other test markets (Los Angeles, Dallas and Detroit) for six weeks to prove that the series could thrive as a full-fledged daily syndicated hour throughout the country.

Williams’ show originates in New York (airing at 10 a.m.), and the Gotham numbers were by far the best of the four. Among women 18-49 last week, the show tied for second place (with WABC’s “The View”) for the entire day among all local TV stations. And Williams finished in the top five among women 25-54.

Although Debmar-Mercury couldn’t be quite so boastful about the Nielsens in the other cities, the distrib said the Williams show still beat the time period for the same week a year ago in households and adult women on KTTV Los Angeles, KDFW Dallas and WJBK Detroit.

If the Williams numbers continue to hold up in all the test cities, Debmar-Mercury would put the show on hiatus after the six-week test and charge back into the marketplace in the fall to start pre-selling the series nationwide for the 2009-10 season.

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