Comic Dennis Miller to Host New Fox Nation Streaming Docuseries About Infomercials

The Fox Nation subscription streaming VOD service Jan. 10 debuted a new three-episode series hosted by comedian Dennis Miller titled “The Infomercials That Sold Us.”

In the series, Miller provides a nostalgic look back at the years when infomercials ruled late-night TV, featuring interviews with the colorful characters who made these ads.

The comic said the series underscores the humanity of the pitch people, who he says often came from nothing and, armed with self-belief and perhaps a fine mop, made themselves wealthy and famous.

“It’s the ultimate American success story,” Miller said in a statement.

Over the course of three episodes, Miller will walk viewers through the days when infomercials were lucrative, and all celebrities wanted in on the action. The docuseries will feature sit down interviews with fan favorites, including the late Suzanne Somers, who sat down for one of her final in-depth interviews prior to her death in October. Additional appearances include Tony Robbins, Brooke Burke, Melissa Rivers, Leeza Gibbons, Billy Banks and Vince Offer.

Miller is best known for his live talk show, “Dennis Miller Live,” which had a nine-year run on HBO from 1994-2002, and earned him five Emmy Awards and three Writers Guild of America (WGA) Awards.

He served as the color commentator for “Monday Night football” and was the “Weekend Update” anchor on “Saturday Night Live” for six years.

Miller also served as the host and executive producer of CNBC’s “Dennis Miller,” a topical interview talk show. In December 2018, Miller released his ninth stand-up special, “Fake News, Real Jokes.” A New York Times best-selling author of four books, Miller has appeared in movies such as Disclosure, The Net with Sandra Bullock, Murder at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and What Happens in Vegas.

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Episode 1: The Innovators

It all started in 1984, when the FCC lifted a rule limiting the amount of commercials stations could run in an hour. Little did they know, they were opening the door to charismatic salespeople taking over late-night TV, hawking everything from exercise equipment, self-help tapes and mops to quick-get-rich schemes. Some of the biggest names from that era, such as Tony Little, Anthony Sullivan and Tony Robbins, share their stories from the early days of the infomercial.

Episode 2: Shining Stars

By the early 1990s, the infomercial business was in a crisis. Lured by easy money, a lot of scammers were flooding the airwaves. Greg Renker, an infomercial pioneer, describes how he saved the business by testifying before Congress and promising the business would clean up its act. A second sea change hit the infomercial business when established stars broke the long-standing taboo against doing TV ads and started cashing in on the craze. Early pioneers such as Leeza Gibbons and Suzanne Somers describe how their gambles opened the door for huge names such as George Foreman, Justin Bieber and Cindy Crawford to join the late-night sales wars.

Episode 3: Internet Killed the Infomercial Star

By the early 2000s, late-night airtime was getting prohibitively expensive, and the infomercial airwaves were dominated by established stars with huge budgets. But there were a few unique salespeople who managed to make themselves rich and famous during that time. Brooke Burke, Billy Blanks and Vince Offer, better known as the ShamWow Guy, share their incredible rags to riches stories. By the early 2010s, the golden age of infomercials was coming to an end — killed off by social media. The episode also features a look at where some of the biggest stars of the golden age of infomercials are now.

Nexstar Media Group Completes Acquisition of The CW, Names Dennis Miller President of Content Production

Nexstar Media Group Oct. 3 announced it completed the acquisition of a 75% ownership stake in The CW from minority co-owners Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global. Nexstar reportedly assumes much of The CW’s $100 million in debt as part of the purchase price.

Irving, Tex.-based Nexstar operates 200 owned or partner television stations in 116 U.S. markets reaching 212 million people.

Dennis Miller

Nexstar announced that Dennis Miller has been named president of The CW, effective immediately, replacing Mark Pedowitz, who served as chairman/CEO of The CW for the past 11 years. Throughout his tenure, Pedowitz was instrumental in charting the expansion of The CW and bringing some of the most groundbreaking and generation-defining programming to television.

Miller, who has served as a member of Nexstar’s board of directors since 2014, has stepped down from the board in connection with his appointment. Nexstar has initiated a search for a new member of its board.

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“Dennis brings a unique skill set of proven television, media, and technology industry expertise, as well as venture capital experience to the role of president at The CW,” Perry Sook, chairman/CEO of Nexstar, said in a statement.

Miller career stops include senior executive positions at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lionsgate Television and Turner Network Television. He most recently served as chairman of Industrial Media until its sale to Sony Pictures Television earlier this year. Industrial Media is an independent production group whose companies collectively produce more than 94 television shows airing across 34 networks, including “American Idol” on ABC; the “Matchmaker” series on Netflix; the Selena Gomez cooking show and the upcoming “The Climb” with Jason Momoa, both on HBO; the upcoming Elton John documentary on Apple+; and Discovery’s “90 Day Fiancé.”