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NBCU's 'Meredith Vieira' Off to Good Start

NBCUniversal's new talker, The Meredith Vieira Show, opened on Monday, Sept. 8 to a preliminary 1.7 rating/5 share metered market primary run average, up 41% from the shows it replaced in its time slots last year at this time.

That performance marked the second biggest increase over year ago time periods for a new talk show premiere in nine years. In 2012, NBCU's Steve Harvey improved its time periods by 50%.

Meredith won its time period in households in five top 20 markets: WXYZ Detroit at 3 p.m.; KTVK Phoenix at 11 a.m.; KSTP Minneapolis at 2 p.m.; WTVJ Miami at 2 p.m. and KCRA Sacramento at 2 p.m. The show's two best metered markets were: WBRC Birmingham at 2 p.m., where it clocked a first place 4.9 rating/11 share, more than triple the rating of time slot rival Wendy Williams (1.5/3) and up 96% from the station's year-ago time period average; and WINK Fort Myers at 3 p.m., where it notched a first place 4.4 rating/11 share, up 109% from its year-ago average.

Among daytime's key demographic of women 25-54, Meredith opened with a 0.6/4 average, even with its September 2013 time periods. The new talker was up 400% year to year on KNBC Los Angeles at 2 p.m. in the demo and did best on WBAL Baltimore at 11 a.m., where it scored a 3.4 in the demo, up 209% from last year at this time.

Although Meredith Vieira was the first entry of the nationally cleared 2014-15 rookie crop to bow, other new first-run strips debuting this season include Warner Bros.' The Real and CBS Television Distribution's Hot Bench on Sept. 15 and Debmar-Mercury's Celebrity Name Game on Sept. 22.