NBC Universal’s The Steve Wilkos Show turned in the best performance of this fall’s five new first-run strips and two new off-net sitcoms that debuted Monday.
Wilkos was the only first-run show that managed to outperform its lead-in or hold its year-ago time period, averaging a 1.1 rating/4 share in 48 metered markets, according to Nielsen Media Research. That’s up 22% from its average lead-in of a 0.9/3 and even with last year’s time-period average.
Wilkos airs mainly in morning and afternoon slots on The CW, MyNetworkTV and Fox stations. The show did not air in Chicago, its home market, due to a Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball game. Its best market was Charlotte, N.C, market No. 26, where it won its time period on WCCB at 2 p.m. with a 3.3/11, up 120% from its lead-in and a 27% improvement on its year-ago time-period average. In the country’s top market, New York, Wilkos took second on WPIX at noon with a 2.1/9.
Among the new half-hours, Warner Bros.’ celebrity gossip show, TMZ, which airs mainly in access and early and late fringe in 55 metered markets, premiered with a 2/4. That’s down 17% from its 2.4/5 average lead-in and off 9% from its 2.2/4 year-ago time-period average. TMZ’s best market was St. Louis, market No. 21, where it scored a 5.2/10 at 10:30 p.m. on KTVI. In New York, TMZ ended up in fifth place at a 1.9/4 at 6:30 p.m. on WNYW.
Sony’s Judge David Young, the court genre’s first openly gay judge, premiered with a 0.9/3. Young airs in mostly daytime slots in 51 metered markets. The show’s rating was unchanged from its lead-in and down just 10% from its year-ago time-period average. The show performed best in Memphis, Tenn., market No. 44, where it won its time period at 12:30 a.m. on WLMT with a 4.5/11. In New York, it came in fifth at 11 a.m. on WWOR at a 0.9/4.
Program Partners’ Merv Griffin’s Crosswords earned a 1.0/3, down 17% from its 1.2/3 lead-in and down 23% from its year-ago time-period average of 1.3/4. It aired mostly in afternoon time periods in 52 metered markets and did best in Tulsa, Okla., market No. 62, on KJRH at 4 p.m., where it got a 3.6/7. On the other hand, it only mustered a seventh-place 0.7/2 in New York at 4 p.m. on WNBC, where it replaced Warner Bros.’ Ellen and faces CBS’ powerhouse, The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Twentieth Television’s Temptation, a remake of Sale of the Century, ended up with a 0.7/2 in 45 metered markets, a 13% decline from its 0.8/3 lead-in and a drop of 36% from last year’s time-period average. Airing mainly in daytime slots, its best showing was in Dayton, Ohio, market No. 58, where at aired at 1:30 a.m. on WHIO and won first place with a 2.9/11. In New York, it came in sixth with a 0.5/2 at 2 p.m. on WWOR.
Two off-net sitcoms also premiered Monday. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men opened with a 2.0/4 in 55 metered markets, even with its lead-in and down 13% from last September’s 2.3/4. Twentieth’s Family Guy opened similarly with a 1.9/4 in 54 metered markets, also even with its lead-in and down 5% from last year’s 2.0/4.
In syndication’s biggest premiere, Oprah opened its 26th season with a first-time-ever premiere in New York’s Madison Square Garden with special guest David Letterman. The show scored a 5.3/14 in 51 metered markets, up 89% from its 2.8/7 lead-in and up 26% from last year.