Nothing's Jumping Out


Although no show's national Nielsen ratings are much to write home about, Warner Bros. Domestic Television has this year's only two new first-run strips that are improving stations' year-ago time periods: The Ellen DeGeneres Show
and The Sharon Osbourne Show.

was the No. 1 new first-run strip for a second week, maintaining its 1.5 premiere rating, according to Nielsen national ratings for the week ended Sept. 28. After three full weeks, Sharon
is averaging a 1.5 rating/4 share in the metered markets, up 15% from its year-ago time-period average but down one share point from its average lead-in.

Ellen, which had been tied with Sharon
nationally, slipped 13% to 1.3 in its third week. After four weeks, though, it is averaging 2.2/6 in the metered markets, up 16% from its time-period average and even with its lead-in share.

"For the most part, whether a show continues or not is really more determined by how it does in the larger markets and on the launch-group stations," says Bill Carroll, vice president of programming for Katz Television Group Programming. "Ellen's numbers are not in the 1.5 range but in the 2.5 range, and 2.5 is a renewable show. I would say the perception is that Ellen
is doing well."

Buena Vista's The Wayne Brady Show, after four weeks in national syndication, also shows greater strength in the larger cities. Nationally, it rates a 1.0; in the metered markets, it's averaging a 1.5/5, down 6% from its year-ago time period average and two share points from its average lead-in.

is flat on the stations where it's been on for a year but is not doing very well on its new stations," Carroll says.

Coming in below 1.0 were King World's Living It Up! With Ali & Jack, down 10% in its second week to a 0.9, and NBC Enterprise's Starting Over, unchanged at a 0.9 in its third outing.

After three weeks, Ali & Jack
is averaging a 1.3/4 in the metered markets, down 32% from its time-period average and three share points from its lead-in. After four weeks, Starting Over
is averaging a 1.1/4 in the metered markets, down 21% from its year-ago average and one share point from its lead-in.