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'Oprah', 'Maury' Draw Most Young Female Viewers In Talk Show Genre

The youngest-skewing talk show on daytime television – besides Oprah – isn't Tyra, Rachael or Ellen. It's NBC Universal's Maury, hosted by 70-year-old Maury Povich.

CBS Television Distribution's Oprah, the talk show leader, averages a 2.0 rating among women ages 18-to-34, according to Nielsen. Oprah scores talk's highest household rating, averaging a 5.0 live-plus-same-day rating for the season to date as of March 23.

Maury, meanwhile, is tied for fifth with CTD's Rachael Ray at a 1.8 season-to-date household rating, following Oprah, CTD's Dr. Phil, Disney-ABC's Live with Regis and Kelly and Warner Bros.' The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

But Maury is second among women 18-34 at a 1.4, meaning that the majority of Maury's audience is made up of young women. And while Dr. Phil beats Maury by a long shot among households at a 3.4 average, Dr. Phil comes in third to Maury among young women at a 1.2.

Warner Bros.' The Tyra Banks Show and Ellen tie for fourth at a 1.0, and Rachael Ray and Live tie for fifth at a 0.8. CTD's rookie, The Doctors, is in sixth at a 0.7, followed closely by NBC Universal's Steve Wilkos at a 0.6 and NBC Universal's Jerry Springer at a 0.5. Maury, Jerry and Wilkos tend to air in blocks on TV stations.

Looked at another way, the median age of Maury's audience is second only to Tyra, at 41.7 years old. The median age of Tyra's smaller audience is three years younger at 38.7. Following Maury are Springer and Wilkos, at 46.1 and 46.3 years old, respectively. Talk's oldest audience by median age is Dr. Phil's at 58.3, 2.1 years older than Oprah's viewers.

“Maury is a terrific listener,” says Linda Finnell, NBC U's senior vice president of programming and development. “With Maury, it's all about the guest. When the audience tunes into Maury, they see a reflection of themselves there.”

Maury's youth appeal has given a boost to the TV stations that air the show. On Tribune's WPIX New York, Maury airs at 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. At 9:00 a.m., the show does a 1.0 rating/10 share among women 18-34, a 43% improvement over its local news lead-in. It then improves upon itself at 10:00 a.m., improving its lead-in by 70%.

On Monday, April 6, Maury was fifth at 9:00 a.m. among women 18-34, but won the entire number-one DMA at 10:00 a.m. On that same day on KTLA Los Angeles, Maury was number one among young women in the market at both noon and 2:00 p.m. On WGN Chicago, Maury took second place at 10:00 a.m. and then won the market at 1:00 p.m., beating even powerhouse WLS.

Says Sean Compton, Tribune's senior vice president of programming and entertainment: “We are in no rush to make daytime decisions right now. We are happy with our daytime line-ups as they are set for fall 2009.”

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Paige Albiniak
Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.