Maurys movin on up7/16/2000 08:00:00 PM Eastern
Regis may be the talk of prime time these days, but Maury-the guy neither looking for a replacement host nor moonlighting on Millionaire-has become the talk of syndicated talk.
Maury Povich boasts the greatest year-to-year growth among talkers, up 28% from this time last year (according to Nielsen Media Research for the week ended June 25). And he's still growing. Maury was at a 3.7 for the week of June 25, a 16% spike from the week before and good enough for third place ahead of Regis and Kathie Lee (flat at a 3.6), Sally Jessy Raphael (up 10% to a 3.4) and Rosie O'Donnell (down 3% to a 3.2).
So what's the deal with Maury's newfound mojo?
Maury Povich executive producer Amy Rosenblum replies laughingly, "I don't know what it is. We put more gel in his hair now?" Seriously, folks: "I think the show is packed from the minute it goes on until the end," she adds. "The 15-year-olds love it [as do] the 60-year-olds."
Studios USA, which took over the show's distribution reins two years ago from Paramount, deserves some of the credit for the Maury Povich turnaround.
"The show is a primary focus at Studios USA," says Katz TV's Bill Carroll. "Studios USA knows how to do that kind of a show; its Sally Jessy Raphael is the sister program to Maury Povich."
Putting his spin on things, Povich says, "I don't think it's the gelled hair. It's more than the Ricky Martin look."
Rather, Povich believes that the addition of more youth-skewing topics, including teen boot camp and teen paternity tests, "really struck a chord."
"I've been able to make a connection with [teens]," he continues. "Strange as it may seem. I mean, I'm not getting any younger."
Maury Povich will resume taping on Aug. 22.