Debmar-Mercury's history begins on October 31, 1993, when 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.
On July 12, 2006, Lions Gate Entertainment acquired Debmar-Mercury as part of its expansion into television distribution. 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. On January 11, 2007, 20th Television picked up ad-sales for select Debmar-Mercury series in syndication.
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 and George Lopez.
Three shows have thus far failed to reach the ratings threshold for a 90-episode renewal, namely Comedy Central's 2010 series Big Lake, which was produced by Funny or Die co-creators Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, and the 2014 FX sitcoms Saint George and Partners.
List of seriesEdit
Aside from the Lionsgate libraries and the Revolution Studios film library, Debmar-Mercury distributes from the following:
- ALF (1986–1990) (produced by Alien Productions; Debmar-Mercury began syndicating the series in 2006)
- South Park (1997–present) (syndicated by Debmar-Mercury since 2005)*
- Family Feud (1999–present) (produced by FremantleMedia North America and Feudin' Productions (1999–2010) and by Wanderlust Productions (2010–present); syndicated by Debmar-Mercury since 2007)*
- American Chopper (2003–2010)
- Deadliest Catch (2005–present)
- Tyler Perry's House of Payne (2006–2012) (produced by Tyler Perry Studios on TBS)*
- The Wendy Williams Show (2008–present)*
- Trivial Pursuit: America Plays (2008–2009)*
- Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns (2009–2011) (produced by Tyler Perry Studios on TBS; co-distributed by Turner Television with ad-sales by Disney-ABC Domestic Television)
- Tosh.0 (2009–present) on Comedy Central*
- Are We There Yet? (2010–2012) on TBS*
- The Jeremy Kyle Show (2011–2013)*
- Anger Management (2012–2014)*
- Celebrity Name Game (2014–2017) (produced by FremantleMedia North America, CBS Television Studios, and Entertain the Brutes)*
- BoJack Horseman (2014–present) (produced by ShadowMachine and Boxer vs. Raptor for The Tornante Company; Debmar-Mercury began syndicating the series in 2018)
- Schitt's Creek (2015-present) (produced by ITV Studios Global Entertainment and CBC Television; Debmar-Mercury acquired American rights in 2019, syndication to start 2020)
- Benson, Jim. "Disney money magic makes two TV syndies". Variety.
- Lionsgate. "Lionsgate Expands Into Television Syndication Business, Acquires Debmar-Mercury".
- "canada.com – Page Not Found". Archived from the original on 2015-05-27 – via Canada.com.
- 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
- Littleton, Cynthia (26 June 2012). "Fast-tracked sitcom may be way of future".
- Andreeva, Nellie (20 February 2013). "OWN Picks Up Tyler Perry's Sitcom 'For Better Or Worse', Orders Third Season".
- 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".
- Andreeva, Nellie (18 April 2013). "FX Picks Up New George Lopez Sitcom In 10/90 Deal With Lionsgate/Debmar-Mercury".
- Littleton, Cynthia (6 March 2012). "For Debmar-Mercury, 10/90 math adds up".
- "So, Is the New Will Ferrell–Produced Comedy Central Show Big Lake Any Good?". 18 August 2010.
- "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)