Gannett, Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury Team Up on Interactive Shows

Want to “take advantage of how television has changed”

Gannett Broadcasting and Debmar-Mercury are partnering to create, test and distribute first-run broadcast series with a focus on interactivity. Finding ways to engage audiences will be the key focus.

Gannett operates the largest independent TV station group of major network affiliates in the top 25 U.S. television markets. Lionsgate-owned Debmar-Mercury makes sitcoms, talk shows and game shows. The agreement allows the companies to test syndicated shows across all genres beginning in 2015.

Also read: The Weinstein Company Secures First-Look Deal With ‘USA Today’ Publisher Gannett

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with the talented team at Debmar-Mercury to produce the programming our viewers want,” said Dave Lougee, president of Gannett Broadcasting. “We will work together to design shows to take advantage of how television has changed and create a new genre of syndicated programming. With more than 40 stations across the country, we will have the ability to experiment, test and refine programs throughout the development process. Local broadcasters, like Gannett, have an opportunity to tap into the organic relationship between television viewing and social media.”

Also read: Lionsgate Q4 Earnings Disappoint Investors

Added Mort Marcus and Ira Bernstein, co-presidents of Debmar-Mercury: “We are thrilled to be partnering with a premier station group like Gannett. With its strong roster of major-market affiliates and cutting-edge digital capabilities, we will be able to jointly create programming that is designed to meet both Gannett’s needs and those of network affiliates throughout the country. We are big believers in the on-air testing model, because it gives stations concrete information on which to base their buying decisions before making long-term commitments to a series.”