A look at the claims, predictions and behavior of a media "psychic".


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Montel Williams Show Cancelled

No more new shows to be filmed after current season.

Published: Jan 31, 2008
Written by: Robert S. Lancaster

Logo from The Montel Show

Logo from The Montel Show.


On January 30 2008, it was announced that the Montel Williams Show would not be filming any more seasons.

Since his show is Sylvia Browne's main platform for marketing herself, I am receiving many emails from people wanting to know if I was aware of this news.

I have decided to put this article up to answer that question, and a few others which have come up in relation to the news.

The News

Here is an article from Variety.com:

Posted: Wed., Jan. 30, 2008, 12:46pm PT

Montel Williams calls it quits
Talkshow ends production after 17 years


Montel Williams is calling it a wrap after 17 years in daytime.

CBS TV Distribution confirmed Wednesday it will end production on the syndicated yakker at the end of this season. CBS plans to offer stations a "Best of Montel" package for the fall that will feature segs from throughout the show's run.

Fate of "The Montel Williams Show" was sealed when key Fox-owned stations opted not to renew it for the 2008-09 season. But a number of other stations had cleared the show for next season, prompting CBS to offer the "Best of" package. The rerun package is sold on an all-cash basis, which is a boon to stations that had been handing over 3˝ minutes of barter ad time per seg to CBS for the firstrun episodes.

"Stations continue to embrace Montel and the message of social responsibility that has been the cornerstone of his show," said CBS TV Distribution prexy and chief operating officer John Nogawski.

Williams, a former military officer, launched his yakker in New York and a handful of other markets in 1991. Show was picked up for national distribution by Viacom the following year.

Here is an article from TV Week with more detail:

January 30, 2008 11:20 AM

It's a Wrap for 'Montel' at End of Season

By Chris Pursell

After 17 years on the air, “The Montel Williams Show” is preparing for its grand finale. Barring a reversal by distributor CBS Television Distribution, "Montel" will depart the airwaves following this season.

CBS TV Distribution will offer 260 episodes of the best of "Montel" to stations for fall 2008.

Fox stations, which carried the series in the country’s top two markets, declined to renew the series, according to multiple executives attending the National Association of Television Program Executives convention in Las Vegas.

"We've been honored to have Montel as part of the CBS family for the past 17 years, and we're very excited that 'Montel' will live on through best-of episodes," said John Nogawski, president of the CBS Television Distribution Group. "Stations continue to embrace Montel and his message of social responsibility that has been the cornerstone of his show."

In an interview last year, Mr. Williams alluded to a career change in his future and discussed becoming a full-time actor.

The series is averaging a 1.5 national Nielsen rating this season, down 12% from the same period in the 2006-07 television season. At the top of its game, “The Montel Williams Show” peaked with a 4.4 score during the 1996-97 season.

The off-syndication "Montel" episodes are being offered to stations as well as potential cable outlets without barter. Currently, stations give up 3 1/2 minutes of ad time.

"If they can't make that work, I'd be shocked," said Mr. Nogawski. "This is a chance for the industry to open up its vaults and turn our built-up content into an asset."


Rather than an Analysis, I'll answer a few of the questions I have been asked about this.

Do you know about this?

I do now! I have so far received more than forty emails and messages about it.

Did Sylvia see this coming?

Her appearances on the show have been irregular in recent weeks (Montel seems to have replaced her "Sylvia Browne Wednesdays" with shows promoting his latest book), and I would imagine that Browne would have asked him why, if she had not already been told.

Do you think that your site is responsible for this?

From the TV Week article above, it appears that low rating are responsible.

Whether this site has played any part in lowering the show's ratings is anybody's guess.

What do you think Sylvia will do now?

Your guess is as good as mine.

She has announced in recent months that she will not be going on any more of her cruises after this year, and that her 2008 lecture tour is her last, referring to it as her "farewell tour."

My guess is that we will continue to see new books with her name on them (regardless of who actually writes them) until they stop selling well, and that she will continue doing her $750, twenty-minute phone readings as long as the market for them exists.


Whatever the reasons for the cancellation, Browne will no longer have her free hour-long infomercial every week on national television, and that will translate to fewer of her books being sold, and fewer people being exposed to her.

I believe this to be a very good thing.

Update - Mar 30 2008

Since this article went up, I have received several emails from people bringing to my attention Williams' appearance on a Fox news program, in which he took the hosts to task for their (and the media in general's) excessive coverage of the death of actor Heath Ledger, contrasting it with their sparse coverage of the US Soldiers dying in Iraq.

Some have theorized that this appearance resulted in Fox's decision not to renew their commitment to airing the Montel Williams Show.

While this is certainly possible, I have not been able to determine whether Montel's appearance on that news show happened before or after Fox made its decision not to air any more seasons of his show.

This leaves us with some possibilities, including:

1. The interview happened first, and Fox retaliated by not renewing the show.

2. Fox announced they would not renew the show first, and Williams retaliated by criticizing Fox News on that show.

3. The two events are not related, regardless of which happened first.

It is impossible to say, but I would think that if the Montel Williams Show had high enough ratings, Fox would have renewed it regardless of Williams' comments about their news coverage.

Also, while I agree with what Williams said in that interview, I do not think he is particularly the one who should be casting the first stone here. If there have been episodes of his show devoted to the casualties in the war in Iraq, I am not aware of them.

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