Debmar-Mercury is a television syndication company that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lionsgate and was formed from a merger of Debmar Studios and Mercury Entertainment in 2006.

DebMar Mercury, LLC
IndustryTelevision syndication
PredecessorsDebmar Studios
Mercury Entertainment
FounderRichard Debrah
Mort Marcus
Ira Bernstein
Lois Bernstein
Tom Bernstein
ParentLionsgate Television


Debmar StudiosEdit

Debmar-Mercury's history begins on October 31, 1993, when Richard Debrah and Mort Marcus founded Debmar Studios, with financial backing from The Walt Disney Company (where he had worked as senior vice president of sales at its Buena Vista Television syndication arm). Debmar signed a deal with CBS to distribute a handful of films and specials, such as My Fair Lady, Gunsmoke telefilms, the first two feature length Peanuts films (A Boy Named Charlie Brown and Snoopy, Come Home) and some Dr. Seuss/DFE animated specials.[1]


On July 12, 2006, Lions Gate Entertainment acquired Debmar-Mercury as part of its expansion into television distribution.[2][3] In November 2006, the company was awarded the syndication rights to Family Feud starting in the 2007–2008 season, and industry rumors suggested that the company could also syndicate some classic Goodson-Todman shows.[4] On January 11, 2007, 20th Television picked up ad-sales for select Debmar-Mercury series in syndication.[5][6]

In April 2019, Debmar-Mercury moved its advertising sales deal to CBS Television Distribution Media Sales.[7]

"10–90" modelEdit

Debmar-Mercury was known in the past 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 achieving 100 episodes is considered the desired number for a show to begin entering daily reruns.[8] 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,[9] and for multiple series with the FX cable television network, featuring the likes of actors Charlie Sheen (Anger Management),[10] Kelsey Grammer and Martin Lawrence (Partners), and George Lopez (Saint George).[11]

The model eventually broke down, with Saint George and Partners failing to reach the threshold for a 90-episode renewal (along with Comedy Central's 2010 series Big Lake, a co-production with Lionsgate and Funny or Die[12]), and Anger Management quietly being de-emphasized by FX after middling scripts that went against that network's 'premium' image and accompanying low ratings, and actress Selma Blair accusing Lionsgate of maintaining a hostile workplace and departing the series.[13] The series also performed poorly in its later run in broadcast syndication. The rise of streaming video providers such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video and their minimum quality standards also made the 10/90 model untenable in the long run. Tyler Perry also departed Lionsgate in 2011 for more creative freedom on his own in other arrangements with OWN and BET.

List of seriesEdit

Note: Shows denoted with an asterisk (*) are distributed in conjunction with 20th Television or CBS Media Ventures for ad-sales.

Aside from the Lionsgate libraries and the Revolution Studios film library, Debmar-Mercury distributes from the following:

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Benson, Jim. "Disney money magic makes two TV syndies". Variety.
  2. ^ Lionsgate. "Lionsgate Expands Into Television Syndication Business, Acquires Debmar-Mercury".
  3. ^ " – Page Not Found". Archived from the original on 2015-05-27 – via Cite uses generic title (help)
  4. ^ Jim Benson. "Fremantle Awards Family Feud to Debmar-Mercury".
  5. ^ "TV News Check" 20th Century TV to handle ad sales of both Debmar-Mercury shows for 2007 season. Retrieved on March 13, 2012
  6. ^ Elizabeth Guider "Variety" 'Dead Zone' headed to syndication January 11, 2007, Retrieved on January 29, 2013
  7. ^
  8. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (26 June 2012). "Fast-tracked sitcom may be way of future".
  9. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (20 February 2013). "OWN Picks Up Tyler Perry's Sitcom 'For Better Or Worse', Orders Third Season".
  10. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (9 January 2013). "FX's 'Sunny' Likely To Go To Season 10, 'Anger Management' To Air 45 Eps A Year, John Landgraf On AMC Showrunner Firings".
  11. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (18 April 2013). "FX Picks Up New George Lopez Sitcom In 10/90 Deal With Lionsgate/Debmar-Mercury".
  12. ^ Littleton, Cynthia (6 March 2012). "For Debmar-Mercury, 10/90 math adds up".
  13. ^ "It's Official: Selma Blair Not Returning to 'Anger Management'". June 18, 2013. Retrieved July 12, 2013.
  14. ^ "Oh My God South Park Syndicated – E! Online". 20 October 2012. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)

External linksEdit