Geraldo's Grand Opening
At Large leads rookies; Cristina's strong, too
By Ben Grossman -- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/1/2006 8:00:00 PM
The national rollout of Twentieth Television's Geraldo at Large was the top-performing syndicated rookie, according to the national household ratings for the week ended Sept. 17. Geraldo averaged a 1.6 rating for the first week of the season, despite clearances in just 75% of the country, mainly in late-fringe time periods.
“It's taken awhile to find an audience, but sampling tends to be a bit slower than you used to have in the old days,” says Twentieth President/COO Bob Cook. He notes that the 1.6 projects to a 2.0 if the show had household penetration of 90%, which he expects by the end of the season.
Twentieth also had the No. 2 rookie for that week, as Cristina's Court averaged a 1.3 rating. Cook says that, despite there being nine court shows in syndication, the genre hasn't yet peaked.
“Every time we think that, the numbers just keep going,” he says. “It's like Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!. Every year, they say this is their last year, and they just keep going. Diminishing returns will come for court, but not yet.”
Rolling out Geraldo (a late replacement for A Current Affair last season) and launching Cristina was even more difficult, with Twentieth executives also busy launching MyNetwork TV (MNT).
Cook says having Fox as a parent cuts both ways. “We spend a lot of time on [MNT], but we also get a lot of help from Fox News Channel in promoting Geraldo,” he says. “But it's lot of work right now.”
Sony Pictures Television's Judge Maria Lopez was the third-highest-rated rookie of the week ended Sept. 17 with a 1.0 average, while Sony's new Greg Behrendt talker averaged just an 0.9 in its first four days after debuting Sept. 12. Sony executives declined to comment on the early numbers.
Ratings for Telepictures' Dr. Keith Ablow were not available at press time. They are being reprocessed by Nielsen.
In off-net rookie strips, sitcom Still Standing debuted to a 1.3 average, while One on One averaged an 0.9. CSI: Miami averaged a 4.2 rating in its first weekend of syndication.
Among returning talk shows, sophomore Tyra Banks logged the biggest year-over-year increase, improving 36% over its debut to a 1.5. Fellow second-year talker Martha averaged a 1.3 for the week, off 35% from its debut last year.
The newsmagazines stayed hot, with Access Hollywood up 24% on the year to a 2.6 average and Entertainment Tonight recording its highest number in 24 weeks at a 5.1.
In court, Judge Judy led the way as usual with a 4.4. Wheel of Fortune topped the game-show category with a 7.3, while Family Feud's first week with new host John O'Hurley averaged a 1.7.
Although national numbers for the debut week of rookies Rachael Ray and Megan Mullally won't be available until this week, Rachael averaged a 2.6 rating/9 share weighted-meter-market average for its first week, which began Sept. 18.
The Food Network veteran's program, from King World and Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions, enjoyed the best first week of any show since Dr. Phil in 2002. It bested its average lead-in of 2.3/8 by 13% and was a 24% improvement over its year-ago time-period average of 2.1/7.
NBC Universal's Megan got off to a slow start with a 1.0/3 weighted-meter-market average. That marked a 17% decline from its average lead-in of 1.2/4 and was down 29% from its year-ago time- period average of 1.4/5.
No related content found.
No Top Articles