Seacrest Starts Strong; Happy Syndie New Year So Far


The New Year has been very good to syndication, so far.

Twentieth Television’s new syndicated talker, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, debuted Monday, Jan. 12, to a 1.5 rating/3 share in its 55 metered markets.
Seacrest’s rating was higher than the November metered market average rating for any rookie except Ellen. It was also the highest first-day rating for any new Twentieth Television syndicated show since Texas Justice launched in September 2001.

Elsewhere in syndication, for the week ended Jan. 4, which included the New Year’s holiday, ratings for most shows were sharply higher, especially in access and late-night time periods, compared to Christmas week numbers, when various holiday plans conflict with viewing habits.

Not so the case with New Year’s, which more often translates to days off at home. In fact, average viewing for the week was up by almost 4 million households, or about 19%, from the week before. That helped boost Ex-treme Dating to an all-time high and Fifth Wheel to a season-best.

Magazines, games and dating shows were all up. Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight, the top magazine, was up 16% to a 5.2; King World’s Inside Edition was up 6% to a 3.4; NBC Enterprises’ Access Hollywood was up 12% to a 2.8; Warner Bros. Extra was up 14% to a 2.4 and its Celebrity Justice was up 9% to a 1.2.

King World’s Wheel of Fortune saw its fortunes rise, up 13% to an 8.9, while its Jeopardy! seemed to have all the answers, up 19% to a 7.4. Buena Vista Television’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire? was up 3% to a 3.7, while Hollywood Squares (King World) and Family Feud (Tribune), continued to move in tandem, both up 15% to 2.3.

In daytime, all of the new first-run strips were up except Living it Up! With Ali & Jack (King World), which was down 15% to a 1.1, coming off a new season high the week before. Warner Bros.’ Ellen, despite being a repeat, was up 6% to lead the rookies with a 1.7; Sharon (Warner Bros.), also a repeat, was up 8% to a 1.4; and NBC’s Starting Over was up 11% to a 1.0.

Oprah led all talkers, up 9% to a 6.3, while Paramount’s Judge Judy topped court shows, although it was down 2% to a 4.7. Sony’s Seinfeld headed a strong group of off-net sitcoms, up 9% to a 5.8.