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The Montel Williams Show (also known as Montel) is a syndicated talk show, hosted by Montel Williams, which ran from 1991 to 2008.[1][2][3]

The Montel Williams Show
Presented byMontel Williams
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons17
No. of episodes4,325
Executive producer(s)Montel Williams
Camera setupMulti-camera setup
Running time60 minutes
Production company(s)Mountain Movers Productions
United Television Productions
Chris-Craft Television Productions
Out of My Way Productions
(seasons 4-7)
Letnom Productions
(seasons 6-7)
Viacom Enterprises
(seasons 1-3)
Paramount Domestic Television
(seasons 4-15)
CBS Paramount Domestic Television
(seasons 15-17)
CBS Television Distribution
(season 17)
DistributorViacom Enterprises
(seasons 1-3)
Paramount Domestic Television
(seasons 4-15)
CBS Paramount Domestic Television
(seasons 15-17)
CBS Television Distribution
(season 17)
Original networkSyndication
Original releaseSeptember 30, 1991 (1991-09-30) –
May 16, 2008 (2008-05-16)
External links

On January 30, 2008, the end of production of new episodes of The Montel Williams Show at the end of the 2007–2008 television season was announced.[4] A rerun package offered by Montel's distributor, CBS Television Distribution, was sold into syndication for the 2008–2009 season, and reruns also aired on Black Entertainment Television (BET).



In its early years, Montel was similar to most tabloid talk shows.[5][6] As time went on, however, the genre became less popular, and so toward the end of the show's run, Montel usually focused on inspirational stories and less controversial subjects. Common themes seen on Montel include finding lost loves, reuniting mothers who gave their children up for adoption, or stories of strong women who faced certain danger (such as rape or attempted murder) and fought their way out.[7] Multiple sclerosis was also a frequent topic, as Williams suffers from the disease.

Most Wednesdays (and sometimes on Fridays as well during the summer), self-proclaimed psychic Sylvia Browne was Montel's guest, and performed psychic readings of guests as well as discussing her ideas about spirituality and the afterlife. Her predictions have been the target for much criticism, and her psychic abilities explained as cold reading by critics such as Robert S. Lancaster. She refused to partake in the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge from James Randi, a prominent skeptic.

In August 2007, The Montel Williams Show was awarded The Truly Terrible Television Award for peddling pseudoscience and superstition to its audience for every episode that has showcased Sylvia Browne. Other winners have been Psychic Detectives, A&E's Paranormal State and SciFi's Ghost Hunters.[8]

On January 26, 2008, during an appearance on Fox & Friends, Montel criticized the media's lack of coverage of the Iraq War and took the hosts (and the media in general) to task for their excessive coverage of the recent death of actor Heath Ledger, contrasting it with their sparse coverage of the U.S. soldiers dying in Iraq. This was the catalyst for CBS Television Distribution's cancellation of The Montel Williams Show after his appearance on the program.[citation needed]

During its final week on the air, The Montel Williams Show aired a series of clip shows known as "Finale Week" looking back on its past 17 seasons, including past guests and Sylvia Browne's past appearances on the show.

Production and distributionEdit

The series was produced by Mountain Movers for its entire run, with Out of My Way Productions co-producing on its first four seasons and then Letnom Productions for the following two seasons. The first three seasons were distributed by Viacom Enterprises. After Viacom's purchase of Paramount Pictures in March 1994, Viacom Enterprises was merged into Paramount Television's distribution arm, Paramount Domestic Television. PDT began distributing the show in fall 1994, and became CBS Paramount Domestic Television after the Viacom/CBS Corporation split in 2006. Its distributor changed names once again in 2007, as CPDT was merged with King World Productions to form the current distributor, CBS Television Distribution.

It was taped at the AMV Unitel 53rd Street, 433 West 53rd Street Studio in New York City for most of its entire run. The first season, however, was produced and recorded at CBS Television City in Hollywood.

Cancellation and further developmentsEdit

It was reported in Variety that CBS TV Distribution terminated the show when key Fox-owned stations chose not to renew it for the 2008–2009 season. The final episode aired in most markets on May 16, 2008, with some markets airing it at a later date (one week later).[9][10]

In June 2008, Ofcom of the UK ruled that ITV2 (which aired the show during its run) "breached standards with a repeat of the Montel Williams Show in which a 'desperate' couple were told by self-professed psychic Sylvia Browne that their missing son, Shawn Hornbeck was dead - even though he turned up alive the previous year."[11] The ruling concerned "breaching rule 2.1 of the Broadcasting Code, which relates to protecting viewers against offensive material."


  1. ^ Johnson, Allan (1998-06-09). "Staying power montel williams steers his talk show straight ahead to a new time". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  2. ^ Lavin, Cheryl (1996-04-10). "Climb Every Mountain Montel WIlliams Hosts the Fastest-Rising Talk Show on TV, Stars in a Prime-Time Drama and Has Written His Autobiography, but There's One Peak He Thinks He'll Ever Conquer". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  3. ^ Ramsay, Carolyn (1991-07-08). "The New Host on the Talk-Show Block : Television: Montel Williams, a former Navy man and lecturer to teens, wants to dethrone Oprah and Phil. His 13-week trial run begins today". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
  4. ^ The Montel Williams Show to End Original Production - 1/30/2008 7:25:00 PM - Broadcasting & Cable Archived December 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ James Endrst; Courant TV Critic (1995-12-25). "Montel Broadens Role From Talk To Action - Hartford Courant". Retrieved 2012-11-27.
  6. ^ "More Than Just Talk Not Satisfied With His Daytime Chat Show, Montel Williams Makes a Play For Primetime on "Matt Waters"". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2010-12-06.[dead link]
  7. ^ "The Montel Williams Show". Entertainment Weekly. 1991-08-30. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  8. ^ "IIG | The IIG Awards". 2010-08-21. Retrieved 2011-07-01.
  9. ^ "The Montel Williams Show to End". Entertainment Weekly. 2008-02-01. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  10. ^ "Last taping of the 'The Montel Williams Show' isn't the end". New York Daily News. 2008-03-19. Retrieved 2010-12-06.
  11. ^ "ITV wrong over psychic claim repeat". The Press Association. June 23, 2008. Archived from the original on July 20, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-31.

External linksEdit