01/22/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Montel Williams: Living Well As Infomercial Host

Although Montel Williams's talk show was canceled this year, it seemed to have been reincarnated last week at a studio in Fairfield, N.J.

Mr. Williams had gathered a live audience, self-help experts and people who had dealt with problems like the death of a daughter, and he stood before them, gesticulating, tearing up and nodding thoughtfully.

After almost an hour of discussing the problem of depression, Mr. Williams presented the guests with the answer to their problems: a set of books he had written. In other episodes, he suggested solving various issues by buying a debt-relief kit, a rotisserie grill or a blender. For this was not a television show. It was an infomercial, "Living Well With Montel," and Mr. Williams is being paid depending on how well the products sell.

Mr. Williams has put his "Living Well" brand on several new products, and he will soon promote other brands, too, like books from Men's Health magazine. He is paid no salary, only a share of profits that depends on how much he sells. (For now, the products are available only through a toll-free number and a Web site.)

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