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|The Montel Williams Show|
|Presented by||Montel Williams|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||17|
|No. of episodes||4,325|
|Executive producer(s)||Montel Williams|
|Camera setup||Multi-camera setup|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Mountain Movers (1991-1994)
Letnom Productions (1996–1998)
Out of My Way Productions (1994-1998)
|Distributor||Viacom Enterprises (1991–1995)
Paramount Domestic Television (1995–2006)
CBS Paramount Domestic Television (2006–2007)
CBS Television Distribution (2007–2008)
|Original release||September 30, 1991– May 16, 2008|
On January 30, 2008, it was announced that The Montel Williams Show would stop production on new episodes at the end of the 2007–2008 television season after seventeen years. A rerun package offered by Montel's distributor, CBS Television Distribution, was sold into syndication for the 2008–2009 season, and reruns also aired on Black Entertainment Television (BET).
In its early years, Montel was similar to most tabloid talk shows. As time went on, however, the genre became less popular, and so toward the end of the show's run, Montel usually focused on inspirational stories and less controversial subjects. Common themes seen on Montel include finding lost loves, reuniting mothers who gave their children up for adoption, or stories of strong women who faced certain danger (such as rape or attempted murder) and fought their way out. Multiple sclerosis was also a frequent topic, as Williams suffers from the disease.
Most Wednesdays (and sometimes on Fridays as well during the summer), self-proclaimed psychic Sylvia Browne was Montel's guest, and performed psychic readings of guests as well as discussing her ideas about spirituality and the afterlife. Her predictions have been the target for much criticism, and her psychic abilities explained as cold reading by critics such as Robert S. Lancaster. She refused to partake in the One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge from James Randi, a prominent skeptic.
In August 2007, The Montel Williams Show was awarded The Truly Terrible Television (TTTV) Award for peddling pseudoscience and superstition to its audience for every episode that has showcased Sylvia Browne. Other winners have been Psychic Detectives, A&E's Paranormal State and SciFi's Ghost Hunters.
On January 26, 2008, during an appearance on Fox & Friends, Montel criticized the media's lack of coverage of the Iraq War and took the hosts (and the media in general) to task for their excessive coverage of the recent death of actor Heath Ledger, contrasting it with their sparse coverage of the U.S. soldiers dying in Iraq. This would be the catalyst for CBS Television Distribution's cancellation of The Montel Williams Show after his appearance on the program.
The show was produced by Mountain Movers for its first three seasons, followed by Out of My Way Productions on its first four seasons and then by Letnom Productions for its last two seasons, and the first several seasons were distributed by Viacom Enterprises. After Viacom's purchase of Paramount Pictures in March 1994, Viacom Enterprises was merged into Paramount Television's distribution arm, Paramount Domestic Television. PDT began distributing the show in fall 1995, and became CBS Paramount Domestic Television after the Viacom/CBS Corporation split in 2006. Its distributor changed names once again in 2007, as CPDT was merged with King World Productions to form the current distributor, CBS Television Distribution.
It was taped at the AMV Unitel 53rd Street, 433 West 53rd Street Studio in New York City for most of its entire run. The first season, however, was produced and recorded at CBS Television City in Hollywood.
It was reported in Variety that CBS TV Distribution terminated the show when key Fox-owned stations chose not to renew it for the 2008–2009 season. The final episode aired in most markets on May 16, 2008, with some markets airing it at a later date (one week later).
|Wikinews has related news: Montel Williams Show breached standards with 'psychic' Sylvia Browne|
In June 2008, Ofcom of the UK ruled that ITV2 (which aired the show during its run) "breached standards with a repeat of the Montel Williams Show in which a 'desperate' couple were told by self-professed psychic Sylvia Browne that their missing son, Shawn Hornbeck was dead - even though he turned up alive the previous year." The ruling concerned "breaching rule 2.1 of the Broadcasting Code, which relates to protecting viewers against offensive material."