Skip to main content

Tyra Tops 'Most Improved' Talkers

Telepictures’ The Tyra Banks Show posted the most improvement of any syndicated talk show, new or old, in the Nielsen national barter rankings. And it was the only one of the three major new strips to climb during the week ended Oct. 16.

While Twentieth TV’s Judge Alex continued to lead the freshman class with a 2.1 household rating, on par with his five-week average, Tyra hit its best household number yet with a 1.8, up 20% from the previous week and 64% from its 1.1 debut. It finished ahead of NBC Universal’s Martha (1.7)—steady week to week and off 15% from its 2.0 premiere—for the first time in households.

During the week, marked by two holidays and baseball playoff preemptions, Tyra finished alone in first in every key demo among her first-run freshman classmates. Her show had previously tied Alex in at least one of the categories.

In its primary demo of women 18-34, Tyra leaped 18% from the previous week and 44% from its debut to 1.3, which compares to a 0.9 for Alex and 0.6 for Martha Stewart’s talk show.

In women 18-49 and 25-54, Tyra earned a 1.2, up 20% week-to-week and 50% from the premiere in both brackets. Alex pulled a 1.0 in 18-49 and 1.1 in 25-54, while Martha was at a 0.9 and 1.0.

Overall, it was a good week for talk, with the 11 shows in the genre either holding steady or rising. Telepictures’ Ellen and Paramount’s Montel had the biggest increases behind TyraEllen rose 14% from the previous week and 20% year-to-year to a season high of 2.4; Montel also reached a season high, up 11% from the previous week to 2.1 but still down 13% from a year ago.

Among the single-digit talk show gainers, King World’s top-rated Oprah was up 7% to a season high 7.6 but down 3% from the same week last year; the syndicator’s Dr. Phil rose 8% to 5.5, and 6% for the year; and NBC U’s Jerry Springer was up 5% for the week and year.

In the off-network sitcom strip arena, the tandem of Twentieth’s Bernie Mac and Buena Vista Television’s My Wife & Kids continued to provide identical performances, with each at a 2.2, up 5% from the previous week and 10% from their 2.0 premieres. Two shows relegated to late fringe and late night for content, Warner Bros.’ Sex and the City (2.1) and Debmar-Mercury’s South Park (1.4), remained flat.

Among the weeklies, Twentieth’s 24 finished atop the off-net heap with a 2.1, down 5% for the week and 16% from its debut; Buena Vista’s Alias (2.0) also dropped 5% from the previous week and 20% since its debut; Warner Bros.’ Smallville averaged a 2.0 (after being reprocessed last week) and was up 18% over its premiere; and the new Canadian import Da Vinci’s Inquest posted its first decline, falling 10% to 1.8 from the previous week but still up 29% over its premiere of 1.4.