Ratings Conversation Still About Veteran Talkers

The new season's talk premieres have seen established shows settling back into regular viewing patterns, and newcomers proving they still have some work to do.

CBS Television Distribution’s Hot Bench surprised by debuting as this season’s current top rookie with a 1.3 live-plus-sameday household rating, according to Nielsen, in the week ended Sept. 21. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Hot Bench averaged a 0.7.

NBCUniversal’s Meredith Vieira dipped 8% from its 1.3 premiere to a 1.2 in households. Among women 25-54, the show averaged a 0.6.

Warner Bros.’ The Real debuted in the national ratings at a 1.0 in households and a 0.8 among women 25-54, leading all rookies in the key demographic.

Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game debuted with a 0.8 rating/2 share primary-run household average in the metered markets in its first week. That’s down 27% from its 1.1/3 lead-in and 33% from last year.

CTD’s Dr. Phil remained the top talker. At a 3.1 in households, Phil dipped 3% for the week, but improved 3% for the year. Phil led the talkers among women 25-54 with a 1.6.

Disney-ABC’s Live With Kelly and Michael grabbed sole possession of second place with a 2.8 in households and a 1.4 in the demo, that show’s best start in seven years.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen eroded 11% to a thirdplace finish, earning a 2.5 in households and falling 19% to a 1.3 among women 25-54. Maury gained 11% to a 2.0 in its 24th season premiere, and jumped 8% in the demo to tie Ellen.

NBCU’s Steve Harvey fell 5% from its season opener and 10% for the year to a 1.8 in households.

The season premiere of Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams climbed 45% from the prior week to a 1.6, tying NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, which improved 14%. Both Williams and Wilkos rose 23% from last year, talk’s largest annual increases. Both tied in the demo at a 1.1, a 22% gain.

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.