‘Sharon’ Opens Well; ‘Ellen’ Holds Viewers

Sep 22, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Hurricane Isabel didn’t do debuting shows any favors last week, as viewers on the East Coast flocked either to news channels or out of town.

Still, Telepictures’ duo of “Sharon Osbourne” and “Ellen DeGeneres” drew interest from curious audiences, according to early Nielsen Media Research numbers, while other strips hunted for viewer attention. Meanwhile, Buena Vista’s “The Wayne Brady Show” saw its first national numbers.

After three days “Sharon” was averaging a 1.6 household rating in overnight weighted metered market scores and a 4 share, slightly lower than its 1.8/5 debut but still ahead in key categories. The new strip is running 14 percent ahead of last year’s 1.4/4 time period average but is down 11 percent from its average lead-in.

Also debuting last week among first-run strips was King World’s “Living It Up! With Ali & Jack,” which pulled a 1.3/4 average in its first three days and was off a share point from its 1.3/5 premiere. Compared with year-ago time-slot scores of 1.8/6, the talk show was down 28 percent. Compared with lead-in average, the series dropped 38 percent.

“Ellen” continued to hold its strong debut scores from the previous week. With eight episodes under its belt, the series was averaging a 2.1/6, up 17 percent from last year’s time period numbers of 1.8/6. The talk show was up over its lead-in by 5 percent.

NBC Enterprises’ “Starting Over” averaged a 1.0/4 during its first eight days. Compared with last year’s scores, the series was down 23 percent in ratings (vs. a 1.3/4).

Buena Vista’s “The Wayne Brady Show” posted its first national numbers after a year in slow rollout. The strip earned a 0.9 rating in 88 percent of the country in its first week.

Among the off-net debuts, Sony’s “King of Queens” built momentum in its first three days as audiences adapted to new station schedules and found the show. The series averaged a 2.2/4 metered market average in its debut, up from a 2.0 on opening day. Compared with year-ago time slots, the series was off 12 percent. It was down an average of 4 percent from its lead-in.

Paramount’s “The Parkers” averaged a 1.6/4 during the same period, unchanged from year-ago scores and lead-in. The distributor’s other freshman strip, “Becker,” pulled a 1.1/3, off 15 percent from a year ago and down 21 percent from average lead-in.

Sony’s off-cable strip “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” averaged a 1.0/3, down 9 percent from last year’s time period average of 1.1/3 and also down 9 percent vs. lead-in ratings.