Debmar-Mercury was formed from a merger of Debmar Studios and Mercury Entertainment in 2006. On July 12, 2006, Lions Gate Entertainment expanded into television distribution and acquired Debmar-Mercury. In November 2006, the company was awarded the syndication rights to Family Feud and industry rumors suggest that the company could also syndicate some classic Goodson-Todman shows. On January 11, 2007, 20th Television picked up ad-sales for Debmar-Mercury series in syndication.
The 10-90 Model
Debmar-Mercury is known for pioneering a unique syndication model, known as the "10-90" approach, where the syndicator sells the program to a cable station for a 10-episode test run. If those 10 episodes achieve acceptable ratings, the show would be renewed for an additional 90 episodes. This allows the show to have a profitable life in off-network syndication, in which 100 episodes is considered the desired number for a show to begin entering daily reruns. This unique broadcast syndication model for television was used with the TBS and OWN cable television networks for multiple sitcoms created by the multihyphenate Tyler Perry, and for multiple series with the FX cable television network, featuring the likes of actors Charlie Sheen and Kelsey Grammer and comedians Martin Lawrence, Kevin James and George Lopez. So far, the only two shows to fail to reach the ratings threshold for a 90-episode order is the 2010 Comedy Central comedy Big Lake, which was produced by Funny or Die co-creators, Will Ferrell & Adam McKay. and the 2014 FX sitcoms, Saint George and Partners.
Partial list of series
This is the list of series distributed by Debmar-Mercury. Aside the Lionsgate libraries and the Revolution Studios film library, Debmar-Mercury distributes from the following:
Note: Some shows denoted with an asterisk (*) are distributed in conjunction with 20th Television for ad-sales.
- ALF (1986-1990) (produced by Alien Productions. Debmar-Mercury syndicated the series in 2006)
- South Park (1997–present) (Syndicated the series since 2005)*
- Family Feud (1999–present) (produced by FremantleMedia North America and Feudin' Productions (1999-2010) and by Wanderlust Productions (2010-present). Syndicated the series since 2007)*
- American Chopper (2003-2010)
- Deadliest Catch (2005–present)
- Tyler Perry's House of Payne (produced by Tyler Perry Studios) (2006-2012) on TBS*
- The Wendy Williams Show (2008–present)*
- Trivial Pursuit: America Plays (2008-2009)*
- Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns (2008-2011) (produced by Tyler Perry Studios and Georgia Entertainment Industries on TBS) (co-distributed by Turner Television with ad-sales by Disney-ABC Domestic Television)
- Are We There Yet? (2010-2012) on TBS*
- The Jeremy Kyle Show (2011-2013)*
- Anger Management (2012–present)*
- Celebrity Name Game (2014-present) (produced by FremantleMedia North America, CBS Television Studios, and Entertain the Brutes)*
- Lionsgate Expands Into Television Syndication Business, Acquires Debmar-Mercury
- Film studio Lionsgate acquires television distributor
- Jim Benson. "Fremantle Awards Family Feud to Debmar-Mercury".
- "TV News Check" 20th Century TV to handle ad sales of both Debmar-Mercury shows for 2007 season. tvnewscheck.com Retrieved on March 13, 2012
- Elizabeth Guider "Variety" 'Dead Zone' headed to syndication variety.com January 11, 2007, Retrieved on January 29, 2013