Christian leader T.D. Jakes has completed a successful four-week test run of his talk show, and producers will now shop it around for a national launch next fall.
Television syndication company Debmar-Mercury reported that the "T.D. Jakes" show grew 33 percent across its four Tegna markets — WFAA Dallas, WXIA Atlanta, KARE Minneapolis, and WKYC Cleveland.
"The last two weeks were the highest rated of this test, and would you rather have a show where the arrows were going up or going down?" co-president Ira Bernstein told Broadcasting & Cable
"If Debmar-Mercury can get it green-lit nationally, Tegna is committed to clearing it where we can," said Bob Sullivan, senior VP at Tegna.
Altogether, the four-week test produced 20 episodes featuring the bishop of Dallas megachurch The Potter's House. The shows will now be used to shop the program to national buyers.
"I’m extremely proud of the quality of the 20 programs that we turned around in pretty short order," said Sullivan. "Our belief in him going into the test grew as we developed the program throughout the four weeks. We think he’s a unique talent, who offers a clear point of difference in the market."
"We’re going to bring stations episodes and ratings, and ask them to watch the show," said Debmar-Mercury co-president Mort Marcus. "We’ll have a sales tape so stations can get to know who T.D. Jakes is, and we’ll show them the research and hope that stations around the country, including in the large markets, give the show a shot."
T.D. Jakes continues to grow in household name recognition, and he currently boasts nearly 2 million followers on Twitter, and nearly 1 million on Instagram.
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