Debmar-Mercury is expanding its relationship with talk-show
host, Wendy Williams, who stars in the company's The Wendy Williams Show.
Williams and her manager and husband, Kevin Hunter, have
formed the nonfiction programming company, Wendy Williams Productions (WWP), naming
veteran producer Lisa Knapp as senior VP of development. The new company will
be housed in the Los Angeles offices of Debmar-Mercury, which also will be a
WWP will focus on the development and production of reality,
game and talk shows for the cable and broadcast markets. Williams will serve as
executive producer of the projects and may also have an on-camera role in some.
Knapp, who comes over from reality production house 44 Blue, will oversee the
company's development, production and strategic growth for the company.
"This is a dream come true," said Williams in a
statement. "Kevin and I have been kicking around so many ideas and are
excited to be able to now bring them to life with our own production shingle.
As anyone who watches my show knows, I am a huge fan of all reality and game
shows, and know a thing or two about talk. Lisa has spent a career creating and
producing the kind of television shows I love, and we are thrilled to have her
guide our development efforts. We don't plan on wasting much time, so stay
tuned for some must-see programming ahead."
"It is great to have this opportunity to be involved on
an even larger scale with Kevin and Wendy, who is such a tremendous
talent," said Debmar-Mercury copresidents Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein.
"Together with an outstanding producer of Lisa's caliber, they are putting
into place all of the pieces to make Wendy Williams Productions poised for
tremendous success across a variety of nonfiction genres. We look forward to a
long, productive partnership."
Throughout her career, Knapp has specialized in creating
high-end reality "docu-soap" programming, including Knievel's Wild
Ride and Gene Simmons Family Jewels for A&E, Bands Reunited
and Ambushed for VH1, The Bachelorette for ABC, Mommas' Boys
for NBC and many others.
From 2008-10, Knapp headed development for 44 Blue
Productions, overseeing all reality development, including projects for VH1,
Bravo, truTV and Spike.
Jill Ramsey, currently VP of Wendy Inc., who negotiated the
deal on behalf of Williams and Hunter, also will serve as VP of Wendy Williams
Productions, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company.
Debmar-Mercury's The Wendy Williams Show is taped
live in New York. Williams and Hunter are executive producers, which is produced
and distributed by Debmar-Mercury.
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