Warner Bros.’ The Sharon Osbourne Show got off to a strong start,
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
On the other hand, King World Productions’ Living It Up! with Ali & Jack,
which also premiered 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 King World’s Dr.
Phil, both had huge premieres 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-network sitcoms also premiered Sept. 15, but only one outperformed its time-period average.
That was Paramount Domestic Television’s The Parkers, which opened with a 1.8/4 weighted
metered-market average and was up 13% from its September 2002 time period while
holding even with its lead-in share.
King World’s highly anticipated King of Queens was down 20% from its
year-ago time period, starting Monday with a 2.0/4, and it was in line with its
Paramount’s Becker opened 29% down from its September 2002 time-period
average, managing a 1.0/2, which was down one share point from its average
Sony Pictures Television’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not started off with a 0.9/2, putting it
down 10% from its time-period average and down one share point from its average
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 September 2002 time-period average and off
one share point from its average lead-in.
Two other new syndicated shows still are underwater after 10 weeks on the
Twentieth Television’s Classmates in 25 metered markets is down 14% from its
September 2002 time period and down one share from its lead-in, with a 1.8/5, while
Twentieth’s Ambush Makeover, now in 23 metered markets, is off 15% from
last year’s time-period average and down one share from its average lead-in to a
The national ratings covered the week ending Sept. 7, including Labor Day and
U.S. Open Tennis Championships coverage Monday and Friday. Many strips were broken out
Monday, although some were hurt by pre-emptions Friday in some markets.
Top talk shows and most magazines saw gains. Buena Vista Television’s Live with Regis & Kelly, kicking off its new season, had
the biggest increase among talkers, surging 20% from the week before to a 3.6
and jumping 9% from last year at this time.
Oprah, still in repeats that week, led the talkers with a 5.4, up
8% week-to-week and up 6% from last year. Oprah was followed by Dr.
Phil, unchanged at 4.3.
Magazine leader Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight gained 4% to 4.8,
even with last year.
King World’s Inside Edition was unchanged at 3.1 but up 11% from its
NBC Enterprises’ Access Hollywood jumped 24% to 2.6, still down 4%
from last year.
Warner Bros.’ Extra was up 10% for the week but down 15% year to
year. Warner Bros.’ Celebrity Justice, at a 1.4, gained 8% week-to-week
Two new first-run shows made their national syndication debuts in the
holiday-shortened week: Buena Vista’s The Wayne Brady Show and Telco’s
half-hour weekly, Missing.
Wayne Brady, after a slow rollout last year, opened wide on stations
covering 88% of the United States with a 0.9, although its average rose to a 1.7 in the
TMissing premiered at an 0.3 in 52% of the United States.