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'Katie' Has Plenty of Company as Ratings Race Tightens Among New Syndie Talkers TVWeek

A close race is shaping up for the new syndicated daytime talk shows, especially in key demos focusing on women viewers. The segment leader continues to be Katie Couric’s “Katie,” with “Steve Harvey” emerging as Couric’s top rival.

For the week of Sept. 17 -- week two for all the shows except “Steve Harvey” (week three) and the new entry “Trisha” (week one) -- “Katie” led households with a 1.8 rating, although that number was down 10% from the previous week. “Steve Harvey” delivered a 1.3, improving 8% from a week earlier.

Trailing were “Ricki Lake” and “Jeff Probst,” both at 0.7, and “Trisha” at 0.4.

Things were closer in the key women’s demos. In women 18-49, “Katie” and “Steve Harvey” were tied with 0.7 average ratings -- a decline of 13% for “Katie” and flat for “Harvey.” Falling in behind the two leaders were “Ricki” (0.5), “Probst” (0.3) and “Trisha” (0.2).

In women 25-54, “Katie” led with a 1.0 average, down 9% from the previous week, followed by “Steve Harvey” (0.8, down 11%), “Ricki” (0.6), “Probst” (0.4) and “Trisha” (0.2).

A veteran daytime talk show, meanwhile, is off to its best start ever, and leads all the rookies by a wide margin. “Ellen” is averaging a 1.6 rating in women 25-54 for the first two weeks of the show’s new season -- an improvement of 7% from a year ago -- to rank as the top daytime talk show.

Numbers for week one of “Ricki Lake” continue to be reassessed by Nielsen to account for a carriage dispute in the New York market.