TV Stations Can Solve Debmar-Mercury's ‘People Puzzler’ in 2023

'People Puzzler,' hosted and executive produced by Leah Remini, is coming to syndication in 2023.
'People Puzzler,' hosted and executive produced by Leah Remini, is coming to syndication in 2023. (Image credit: Game Show Network/'People Puzzler')

Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury will offer Game Show Network’s People Puzzler, hosted by Leah Remini, to TV stations for a fall 2023 debut, the company said Thursday. 

Debmar-Mercury is distributing 325 episodes of the game show that combines pop culture with fun facts as a back-to-back Monday-Friday strip. People Puzzler will be sold on an all-barter basis, with the syndicator splitting national advertising time with stations. 

People Puzzler, which is based on the pop culture-themed crossword puzzles featured in People Magazine, returned for a third season in August. In the show, three contestants are pitted against each other in a three-round battle of pop-culture prowess. The contestant with the most points at the end of the three rounds then moves to the final “Fast Puzzle Bonus Round,” where they play to win a cash prize.

People Puzzler  is produced by Game Show Enterprises, Start Entertainment and People’s parent company, Dotdash Meredith.

“The biggest ingredients needed for success in television today are high brand awareness and proven talent.  With People and Leah Remini, whose audience favorability ratings are through the roof, we have an abundance of both,” Debmar-Mercury Co-Presidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein said in a statement. “We believe People’s Puzzler’s proven ad-friendly format, strong household and adult 25-54 demo performance will attract an entirely new audience to broadcast, while giving stations a tested alternative to pair with originals in this dominant syndication programming genre.”

People Puzzler joins Allen Media Group’s Equal Justice with Judge Eboni K. Williams in the syndication class of 2023, which is expected to be otherwise light on new offerings. 

People Puzzler is a production of Game Show Enterprises. Rane Laymance executive produces along with Scott St. John and Neal Konstantini for Start Entertainment; Rachel Feinberg for Dotdash Meredith and Remini.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.