‘Maury’ Finds Fountain of Youth


Paternity tests and out-of-control teens may be tired-out talk-show conventions, but NBC Universal’s Maury, which has featured such stock-in-trade in its 12th season, has managed to jumpstart its ratings—and tap into a fountain of youthful viewers.

Maury has grown 44% year-to-year in household ratings to 2.3, according to numbers through the first week of March—the highest yearly increase of any talker in syndication. For total viewers, Maury is up by 49% over last year, averaging 3.4 million per episode. And the demo numbers stand out, too. The show has charted a 56% increase over last year in adults 18-49 (1.4 rating) and a 44% increase (1.3) in adults 18-34.

Povich attributes the bump in part to the show’s move to Stamford, Conn. “There’s just a lot of young people 18- 35…particularly up in Connecticut we have a lot of college kids,” he says. “They may have a day off or it works with their schedule in school; I see sororities here, I see fraternities. That never happened in New York.…Because of the energy of the live audiences, I’ve responded. I think this is the best hosting I’ve done in years.”

Povich is as surprised as anyone that his younger demo ratings have increased as he ages.

“Right now I see no end to [the show], and I also think it’s keeping me young,” he says. “I’m 71 years old. It’s remarkable. I never thought that I would be on television at the age of 60.”