Ellen, Regis & Kelly Up Strong


Warner Bros.’ The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Buena Vista’s Live with Regis & Kelly were hot in the week ending Sept. 12, while  NBC Universal’s The Jane Pauley Show was down sharply in its second week. Ellen kicked off her second season with a 2.0 average and the biggest weekly increase of any talk show.

Ellen, which received many time-period upgrades in year two, was up 54% week-to-week and up 43% from her premiere week last year. Live with Regis and Kelly opened its 18th season even higher, averaging a 3.2, up 14% from the prior week and even with the last year. 
Meanwhile, newcomer Pauley slid 19% to a 1.3 in her second week. Pauley’s national rating was 24% below the 1.7 metered-market average for the show in week two, with clearances in top-market NBC stations pushing the metered-market average above the national rating. Overall, Pauley ranked eighth among ten talk shows, most of which had not yet started their new seasons.
 King World’s The Oprah Winfrey Show, still in repeats and prior to giving away  nearly 300 new Pontiacs, led the talk shows with a 5.7, down 2% from the prior week. King World’s Dr.Phil, also still in repeats, continued to grow, gaining 8% week-to-week and 27% over the last two weeks to a 4.2.

In fourth place, after Regis and Kelly, NBC Universal’s Maury was up 4% to a 2.8. Paramount’s Montel Williams was up 5% to a 2.2 and NBC Universal’s Jerry Springer was down 5% to a 1.8. 
 Elsewhere in daytime, Paramount’s Judge Judy overruled the court shows, gaining 2% to a 4.3. Its closest competition was Paramount’s Judge Joe Brown, unchanged at a 3.1.
Among the games, super-contestant Ken Jennings won number 39 through 43 contests on King World’s Jeopardy as the show started its new season. Jeopardy was up 33% from last year’s debut to an 8.5, overtaking King World’s Wheel of Fortune as the number-one show in syndication.
Wheel was down 2% from last year to an 8.2, although still up 19% from the prior week. In third place, Buena Vista’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire, which began its new season the next week, was up 15% year-to-year to a 3.1, a 3% week-to-week improvement.
Ratings for the week may have been affected for some syndicated shows because Nielsen broke out ratings for the Labor Day holiday. Daytime television also was frequently preempted in Florida for hurricane coverage.