After months of rumors, CBS Television Distribution confirmed Wednesday that The Montel Williams Showwill go out of production at the end of this season.
Instead, CBS will sell stations a "best-of" package for next fall, a la Sony's all-barter Judge Hatchett. With 17 years of episodes in the can, CBS will be able to give stations 52 straight weeks of episodes, or 260 episodes with no repeats.
The show will be sold on an all-cash basis, which means that stations will get an extra three-and-one-half minutes of advertising inventory in each show. That equals seven more 30-second spots per day, or 35 more 30-second spots per week, said John Nogawski, co-president and chief operating officer of CTD.
"Stations need to analyze it from a return-on-investment point of view,” he added. “Assuming the show's ratings stay the same, this could be a more profitable situation for them."
Nogawski also said CBS would pitch the show to interested cable networks.
Meanwhile, the show's host will stay on the air even though his show will no longer tape: "I can't say thank you enough to those who've welcomed me into their homes for the past 17 years,” Williams said. “It has been both an honor and a joy.”
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