After testing the show in four markets over the summer, Tegna Media has cleared talk show T.D. Jakes for launch on 29 of its stations this fall.
Tegna will both produce and distribute the series in partnership with 44 Blue Productions, TDJ Enterprises and EnLight Productions. Scott Carlin, a 30-year veteran of syndication formerly with HBO and Warner Bros., will sell the show into syndication to other station groups. When the show was tested over the summer, Debmar-Mercury was the syndicator.
Debmar-Mercury co-presidents Ira Bernstein and Mort Marcus commented, "T.D. Jakes is a unique daytime talent and we have loved working with him. We are disappointed there isn’t a fall 2016 national launch opportunity available for this show. We wish Tegna and Bishop Jakes much success and hope we have the opportunity to work together again in the future.”
The show stars Bishop T.D. Jakes, pastor of Dallas-based super church The Potter’s House, which has 30,000 members. Jakes also is the author of more than 40 books and producer of films such as Sparkle, Heaven Is for Real, Jumping the Broom and the upcoming Miracles from Heaven.
“T.D. Jakes has a unique and uplifting voice that is well suited for daytime television. With Jakes at the helm, this program has an opportunity to attract blue-chip advertisers, generate large audiences and empower viewers across the country,” said Dave Lougee, president, Tegna Media, in a statement. “During the show’s test run this summer, Jakes’ audience grew each week in every market. Once viewers found him, they liked him and we look forward to introducing him to a wider audience next fall.”
Tegna-owned launch markets will include Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis and Seattle, and clearing the show in 29 Tegna markets will allow it to reach nearly one-quarter of U.S. television households. Some 20 of those stations plan to air the show in afternoon time-slots, and more Tegna stations are expected to come on board as space allows.
“Our successful test run confirmed what we already knew – there is a new generation of viewers hungry for positive content that transforms their lives and relationships in an entertaining manner,” said Stephanie Noonan Drachkovitch, executive producer and president of 44 Blue Productions, also in a statement. “We’re proud to partner with T.D. Jakes, Tegna, and EnLight Productions to expand our format into a daytime television mainstay that is sure to educate, inform, and uplift viewers for years to come.”