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'Dr. Oz’ Has Sony Feeling Good

RELATED:Q&A With Dr. Mehmet Oz

Sony’s Dr. Oz, produced by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions, has emerged as first-run syndication’s first out-of-the-box hit since Rachael Ray launched in 2006.

The show premiered with a 2.3 live-plus-same-day national household average, tying Rachael Ray’s launch and doing it with clearances on weaker stations in the largest markets. In its second week, Oz improved that number, moving up to a 2.4 and taking over third place among talk shows, behind CBS Television Distribution’s Oprah at a 5.2 and CTD’s Dr. Phil at a 2.8, which, like Rachael Ray, was developed out of Oprah.

“Dr. [Mehmet] Oz is a man of the people,” says John Weiser, Sony’s president of distribution. “Viewers feel connected to him, and they really engage with the information he delivers.”


Thus far, Oz has strong ratings stories to tell on several fronts. The show’s national numbers are solid, it’s drastically improving time periods and lead-ins in top markets, it’s performing well among its key demographic of women 25-54, and it’s proving to be a good news lead-in in many markets, something that’s vital to stations.

For example, Post-Newsweek’s NBC affiliate WDIV Detroit airs the show at 3 p.m., and the station has seen its 4 p.m. news improve by 33% compared to last year. Fisher’s ABC affiliate KOMO Seattle has seen its 4 p.m. news improve by 50%, while sister station KATU Portland’s 4 p.m. news has jumped by 25%. The story is similar on Local TV’s WTVR Richmond and Post-Newsweek’s NBC affiliate KPRC Houston.

Oz has managed to score high daytime ratings even though the show launched in weak time slots on Fox-owned stations in top markets including WNYW New York, KTTV Los Angeles, WFLD Chicago, KYW Philadelphia and WFXT Boston.

On WNYW at 3 p.m., Oz improves the time period by 6% and its court lead-in by 64%. It’s winning the time period in households and taking second in the demo. On KTTV at 5 p.m., Oz improves the time period by 23% over last year and its lead-in by 129%. And on WFLD at 4 p.m., Oz is up by 50% over last year and by 150% over its lead-in. Among women 25-54 on WFLD, the show is up by 267% over both last year and lead-in.

“The timing is right for Dr. Oz,” Weiser says. “The American public is more interested in their health than ever before and with the difficult economy, a lot of people want to take control of their own health care and understand simple but smart ways to take better care of themselves.”

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