'Steve Harvey,' 'Live!' Both Open Strong

Both shows improve over year-ago, lead-in and in key female demographics
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The 2012-13 syndie season got underway on Tuesday, Sept. 4, with both Steve Harvey and Michael Strahan making their official talk debuts.

NBCUniversal's Steve Harvey, produced by Endemol USA, got off to an arguably strong start, opening at a 1.5 rating/4 share in 48 metered markets, a 50% increase over its 1.0/3 year-ago time period average in those markets and a 25% gain over its 1.2/4 lead-in. That marks the best metered-market premiere for a talk show since Sony's Dr. Oz in 2009.

In top-market New York, Harvey improved 375% from its lead-in, which was Sony's soon-to-be-departing Nate Berkus. Harvey also was up 171% to a 1.9/5 on WNBC New York from its year-ago time period average, which was the locally produced show New York Live, which has moved to a new timeslot on the station.

Harvey also performed well among the key female demographics, gaining 133% compared to last year among women 18-34, 100% among women 18-49, and 80% among women 25-54.

Tuesday also marked the debut of Fox NFL commentator and former New York Giant Michael Strahan as Kelly Ripa's new cohost on Disney-ABC's renamed Live! with Kelly and Michael. Ratings for the new team were a 3.9 rating/13 share in 54 metered markets, up 44% from what Live! with Regis and Kelly had done a year ago. On WABC New York, Live!'s home market, the show opened with a 6.0/18, up 140% over Live!'s September 2011 average. Live! also won its time period in 14 of the top 15 markets. On WGN Chicago, the show came in second to ABC's powerhouse WLS, which airs a locally-produced program in the hour.

Live! also marked key demo increases, gaining 64% among women 25-54, 70% among women 18-49, and 83% among women 18-34.

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