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Regis and Kelly on an Upswing

Buena Vista Television's Live With Regis and Kelly
continues to grow, closing out May sweeps with ratings up 9% over the year-ago period.

The show, in its 16th year (co-hosted by either Kathie Lee Gifford or Kelly Ripa), finished May with a 3.8 national household rating. It did even better in daytime's key female demos, jumping 27% in women 18-34, 16% in women 18-49 and 19% in women 25-54.

The show's ratings were likely helped by the return of Ripa after two months off for maternity leave, and the giveaway of a house. Millions submitted entries.

Live With Regis and Kelly
also performed well for stations, which continue to air it mostly at 9 a.m. Among women 18-34, the show's share jumped 50% from its lead-in. Live's share boosts its lead-in among women 18-49 by 25% and by 17% among women 25-54, says Lloyd Komesar, executive vice president of strategic research for BVT.

also increases its share over the show that follows it by 50% in women 18-34, 33% in women 18-49 and 31% in 25-54, Komesar says.

Because of the lead-in and lead-out bump, the show gives stations classic tent-pole viewing. "This is a program that remains appointment TV," Komesar says.

The show's enduring popularity has led Gannett-owned NBC affiliate KPNX-TV Phoenix to move the show to 4 p.m., the only station in the country where it airs in early access.

KPNX-TV has moved its schedule around a good deal this season, starting out the year with a double run of Sony's Pyramid in the time slot and then adding Litton's Ask Rita
and one episode of Pyramid
in February. In May, KPNX-TV had NBC Enterprises' The John Walsh Show
airing at 4 p.m., but now the station has moved Walsh
back to 10 a.m. and pushed Live
to 4 p.m.

"We are supportive of the station's move, and we hope it works," Komesar says. "I would love to see the show as an early-fringe player and a news lead-in."