Martha Bolts From the Gate


Off came the ankle bracelet and on came the curiosity seekers for a look at NBC Universal’ new Mark Burnett daytime talk show, Martha, which enjoyed the best debut numbers of the three new first-run strips—Telepictures’ Tyra Banks Show and Twentieth TV’s Judge Alex being the others—debuting Monday.

Domesticity diva and ex-con Martha Stewart’s talk show averaged a 2.4 rating/8 share in Nielsen metered markets, up 4% in rating and even in share from its lead-in. Versus September 2004 time-period averages, it leaped 41% in rating and 2 share points from a year ago, when the time periods averaged a 1.7/6 (primarily Jane Pauley Show, the since-cancelled talk show that aired in 17 of 51 metered markets).

In New York, Martha (2.6/10) dropped 38% from her Ellen lead of 4.2/17, finishing third in the time period at 11 a.m. on WNBC. Yet it still improved dramatically on Pauley’s performance last September, when the station nabbed a 1.0/3 in the time period.

Against KABC-TV’s Oprah at 3 p.m. on KNBC Los Angeles, Stewart earned a 1.6/4, landing in fourth among seven VHF stations. It improved on its network lead-in of a 1.3/4 and a bit on Ellen’s year-ago mark of 1.5/4.

Martha performed best in No. 10-ranked Detroit, with a 5.4/16 at 10 a.m. on WXYZ—a 45% improvement over Pauley last September.

It posted modest demo improvements in Local People Meter markets. In women 18-49, the show rose 14% in rating to 0.8/6 from last year’s 0.7/5; among the 25-54 bracket, it rose 25% in rating to 1.0/7 from 0.8/5 a year ago.

Tyra, meanwhile, debuted without much notoriety or household numbers, averaging a 1.3/4 versus a lead-in of 1.7/5. That represented a 24% drop in rating and a loss of 1 share point. It was also down from last September, when the time period averaged a 1.5/4.

In New York, with a 0.8/2 in a weak time period at 5 p.m. on WWOR, it climbed 60% from its Montel Williams lead of 0.5/1. A year ago, with sitcoms, the time period captured a 0.9/2.

At 5 p.m. on KCOP Los Angeles, Tyra grabbed a 1.9/4 at 5 p.m. on KCOP, up from its n 1.7/4 lead-in by 12% in rating and 73% from a double run of The Parkers a year ago.

But demos were a different story. The show was up 125% (0.9/3 vs. 0.4/3) over a year ago in young women and 100% (0.8/4 vs. 0.4/2) in women 18-49.

For all runs, Judge Alex averaged a 1.7/5, down 6% in rating from its 1.8/6 lead in and off one rating point. But the court show was up 13% from the year-ago mark of 1.5/5.