Warner Bros.' The Sharon Osbourne Show got off to a good start last week, averaging a 1.8 rating/5 share in 55 metered markets, up 29% from its year-ago time period average and even with its lead-in share, according to Nielsen Media Research. On the other hand, King World's Living it Up! With Ali & Jack, which also premiered last Monday, was down sharply from both its time period average and lead-in. The new talk show averaged a 1.4/5 in 49 metered markets, falling 22% from its year-ago time period average and losing two share points from its average lead-in.
The two talk show leaders, King World's Oprah and Dr. Phil, both had huge premieres last Monday. Oprah, featuring an exclusive interview with California gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver, scored an 8.0, the show's best premiere since 1998 when Roseanne Barr was the featured guest, according to King World. Dr. Phil, opening with the first installment of Dr. Phil's Ultimate Weight Challenge, hit a 5.8, a sharp uptick from the show's 5.3 premiere last season, also according to King World.
Four new off-net sitcoms also premiered Sept. 15, but only one of the four out-performed its time-period average. That was Paramount's The Parkers, which opened with a 1.8/4 weighted metered market average, up 13% from its Sept. 2002 time period, while holding even with its lead-in share. Sony's King of Queens was down 20% from its year-ago time period with a 2.0/4. That is in line with its lead-in share. Paramount's Becker opened 29% down from its September 2002 time-period average, managing a 1.0/2, down one share point from its average lead-in.
Meanwhile, Warner Bros.' The Ellen DeGeneres Show continued to outperform its time period by double digits after one week in syndication. Ellen, which started Sept. 8, averaged a 2.1/6 in its first week, up 17% from its year-ago time period average and even with its lead-in share. Not faring as well after one week was NBC Enterprises' Starting Over, which averaged a 1.1/4, down 21% from its Sept. 2002 time period average and off one share point from its average lead-in.