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Kate Couric Leads New Talk Show Trio

September 11, 2012 by Marc Berman in Highlights with 15 Comments
Monday Scorecard
Me-TV Announces New Affiliation


A trio of new first-run talkers — Katie Couric from Disney-ABC, Ricki Lake from Twentieth Television and Jeff Probst from CBS Television Distribution — debuted yesterday. One day of metered market (overnight) data does not a hit or miss make, of course. But focusing primarily on the two key benchmarks — lead-in and year-ago time period averages — Katie, by far, is off to the strongest start.

Based on the weighted household averages, Katie averaged a 2.8 rating/8 share in 52 markets, building from its lead-in (2.5/8) by 12 percent and the Sept. 2011 time period average (2.3/ 6) by 22 percent. Comparably, this makes Katie the highest rated daytime talk show debut since Rachael Ray in 2006.

Jeff Probst was well below Katie at an average 1.0/ 3 based on 50 markets, which dropped by 23 percent from the lead-in (1.3/ 4) and 9 percent from the year-ago time period average (1.1/ 3). And Ricki Lake scored a sluggish 0.6/ 2 in 53 markets – down by 33 percent from the lead-in (0.9/ 3) and 40 percent from the Sept. 2011 time period (1.0/ 3). Keep in mind that Ricki, airing on WPIX in New York, is the only new talk show affected by the Cablevision-Tribune retransmission feud. Cablevision covers 40 percent of the New York City DMA (meaning that a large portion of New York was not able to watch its premiere).

Take a look at the 10-year overnight track for all first-run daytime talk show debuts (in order of highest to lowest rated). Disney-ABC, needless to say, is one happy distributor today.

Dr. Phil (CBS Television Distribution: 9/16/02 debut date): 5.2 rating/14 share
Rachael Ray (CBS: 9/18/06): 2.8/ 9
Katie Couric (Disney-ABC: 9/10/12): 2.8/ 8
Martha (NBCUniveral: 9/12/05): 2.4/ 8
Jane Pauley (NBCU: 8/30/04): 2.2/ 6
Dr. Oz (Sony Pictures Television: 9/14/09): 2.1/ 6
Ellen (Warner Bros.: 9/08/03): 2.1/ 6
Sharon Osbourne (Warner Bros.: 9/15/03): 1.8/ 5
Steve Harvey (NBCU: 9/04/12): 1.5/ 4
The Doctors (CBS: 9/08/08): 1.5/ 4
Anderson (Warner Bros.: 9/12/11): 1.3/ 4
Tyra Banks (Warner Bros.: 9/12/05): 1.3/ 4
Nate Berkus (SPT: 9/13/10): 1.2/ 4
Bonnie Hunt (Warner Bros.: 9/08/08): 1.1/ 4
Megan Mullally (NBCU: 9/18/06): 1.1/ 4
Steve Wilkos (NBCU: 9/10/07): 1.1/ 4
Wendy Williams (Debmar Mercury: 7/13/09): 1.1/ 3
Rob Nelson (Twentieth: 9/16/02): 1.1/ 3
Jeff Probst (CBS: 9/10/12): 1.0/ 3
Greg Behrendt (SPT: 9/12/06): 0.8/ 3
Keith Ablow (Warner Bros.: 9/11/06): 0.8/ 3
Ricki Lake (Twentieth: 9/10/12): 0.6/ 2
Jeremy Kyle (Debmar Mercury: 9/19/11): 0.6/ 2
Dr. Drew (9/19/11): 0.5/ 1

Written by Marc Berman

Marc Berman

Marc Berman is the Editor in Chief for TV Media Insights, the online destination for television and media. Berman has appeared on camera for “Extra,” “Entertainment Tonight,” “Access Hollywood,” “The CBS Evening News,” CNN, and more; and was the author of 2014 desk calendar, “This Day in TV History.”

Monday Scorecard
Me-TV Announces New Affiliation

  • Jason

    You have got to be kidding me! Katie is not successful. From what I heard, that show is failure.

  • SpinsVixenella

    The glass is half full: If I’m reading this correctly, the GOOD news is GH may have done gang-buster ratings (comparatively) in this limited overnight comparison. We’ll see how this all shakes out. As my mother always said, “a new broom sweeps clean.”

  • Marji

    One day is not, enough to worry about. Many probably tuned in out of curiosity or were unaware of GH’s time change. The reviews were not good and we have to wait a few weeks to really see if these ratings stick. I doubt they will and perhaps Katie should be happy for her ONE day of success.

  • Mindachsiefan

    Once viewers see how stupid the Katie Show is, they will leave it in droves. Just a premiere anomoly.

  • Debbie Joyce

    The first few days viewers will tune in just to check out a new show. The true indication will be a week or two from now. The reviews and most of the comments I’ve read have all been very negative. One comment said ” Sitting by the phone waiting for Katie Couric to call and apologize for her first show.”

  • yankeesrj12

    I wonder where Ricki’s numbers will settle when she gets the New York numbers back.

    Based on the data today, only Katie and Steve would be renewed for another season.

  • LesMoonbot

    Oh, boy – this takes me back to when we had her for the CBS Evening News and she got us 13.6 million people to watch her opening telecast in September 2006. We were elated and thought we’d finally take back the news crown.

    Well, we know what happened next.

    And now, Katie invades daytime once again. C’est la vie!

  • moshane58

    Who are we comparing her to as a lead in from last year?That doesn’t mean GH does it?

  • camille

    Thank you Marc once again. The truth of the matter is that we all know this show will bomb, there is no way to get around it. Then once again, ABC has wasted money. In this case very big bucks.

  • krogers

    People might have tuned in to watch the first episode but they will grow bored with it and see it as just another talk show. I didn’t watch. Won’t watch! General Hospital is the only program on ABC I will watch. Even if Katie was on another station I still wouldn’t watch. I don’t watch talk shows.

  • carolc

    As other posters have stated, it’s just the first day of her new show and curiosity probably got the best of some viewers. I predict the numbers will steadily decline as the days go on. There is too much recycling by the Networks regarding daytime programming. Primetime has a variety of shows but it’s almost as if whoever is in charge of daytime doesn’t care what they televise. You can tune into any channel and see almost the same thing on each one. Where is the variety – where are the choices? Daytime viewers watch Primetime also so it would be wise to keep your daytime viewers happy. General Hospital is the only show I watch on ABC.

  • drdon

    Boycotting Hatie Couric all across America by turning our TV sets off! She and her show represent just one more episode of ABC/Disney’s disrespecting of scripted programming and the dedicated viewers of millions upon millions of soap opera watchers all across this country who will not rest until such time that ONE LIFE TO LIVE and ALL MY CHILDREN are returned to them, where they belong.As Roger Friedman of Forbes powerfully observed regarding ABC/Disney’s notorious business decision cancelling these iconic and much beloved shows: “[T]he entire episode will be remembered as the New Coke era of ABC Daytime.”It is past time now for the many shareholders of ABC/Disney to be holding Anne Sweeney PERSONALLY accountable for this major business disaster that has had serious costs for The Disney Company; economic, reputational, and otherwise. This was HER doing, period.And, for this to be done with a view to to either reinstating these shows forthwith, or be now releasing them at fair market value, thus allowing for a viable network or production company with the wherewithal to be bringing them back to their respective nationwide audiences – without further ABC/Disney obfuscation and delay.
    Dr. Donald G. Boudreau,
    author, American Business and Daytime Dramas

  • Anne

    Thanks, Marc, for the overnight numbers. But you are leaving out a very important factor–time. In the Des Moines area, The Jeff Probst Show follows General Hospital, not Katie. Katie is on at 4pm(ct), Oprah’s old time slot, on the ABC affiliate. Her lead-in is The Doctors. Since all these shows are syndicated, the time they are shown will also have to be considered, especially for Katie, which ABC/D is touting as a replacement for the soaps. In Des Moines, it replaced Judge Judy. I turned off the TV after General Hospital, so have no comment on the new talkies. Before final numbers can be calculated though, the time slot the talkie occupies should be considered. I would still rather be watching One Life to Live.

  • Stephen Parker

    Once the “novelty” wears off and curiosity seekers have taken a peek at Couric’s latest effort let’s see how many true fans she retains. Of the three talk shows to debut this week, Couric had the highest profile personality and that may have contributed to an initial “let’s see” amongst certain factions. “Let’s see” if the interest edures as Couric greets successive guests over the next few weeks.

  • Troy Turner


    While one day does not a trend make-so I’m not going to make a determination either way-is there a way to further break the numbers down for Katie between ABC stations and non-ABC stations? Thanks for keeping us in the loop…

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