Jeremy Kyle makes his way to U.S.

Get ready for yet another British invasion – this time from Britain’s top daytime talk show host.

As rumored  for months, Debmar-Mercury has signed a deal with Jeremy Kyle to host an American version of his hour daytime talk-show strip for fall 2011. Kyle’s show has been cleared in 70 percent of the country, and declared a firm go. The program clears Fox duopolies in the top three markets, including Chicago’s Fox duopoly WFLD and/or WPWR. Other station groups on board include Hearst, Sinclair, Newport, and CBS.

Kyle’s daytime talk show airs on ITV in Britain, where it is averaging a 30 share in its seventh season. The program premiered on July 4, 2005 and occupies the 9:25 a.m. slot. The show is shot at Granada Studios in Manchester, Great Britain.

Jerry Springer aside, foreign personalities traditionally have had a tough time with daytime TV talk shows stateside. The Galloping Gourmet Graham Kerr quickly came and went with his cooking talk show in 1990. In 1994, Twentieth Television trotted out Australian Gordon Elliott, whose daytime talk show staggered for three years. Canadians Pat Bullard, Caroline Rhea, Martin Short, and Howie Mandel even a had tougher time with their talk shows, with each lasting a year or less.

DLT Entertainment even tried to export then-top-rated CTV daytime talker Shirley from Canada in 1995, with little to no success.

Kyle’s talk show in Britain is similar in style to those of Springer, Maury Povich, and Steve Wilkos here in the states. (Ironically, Springer was Kyle’s predecessor as he was invited to host a show for ITV for a few months after former host Trisha Goodard left for a program on rival Channel Five.) Kyle’s show has been criticized in Britain for his confrontational style towards guests (like Morton Downey Jr. was on his 1980’s talk show) and there are frequent fights on stage.

The Jeremy Kyle Show became notorious for a head-butting incident between guests in one show, which prompted a Manchester District Judge handling the crime to rip the program for “a form of human bear-baiting” and exploiting dysfunctional people on the show for entertainment, a charge ITV flat out denied.

The UK’s broadcast regulator (Ofcom, similar to the FCC in the United States) have also called out the show for its use of foul language on the show during daytime hours. Politicians have criticized the program for its paternity test shows, similar in the vein of Maury.

Kyle already has a leg up on rival The Bill Cunningham Show, which Tribune has yet to find a syndicator for but has cleared 40 percent of the country for next fall.


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