It was back to the business of strong ratings for several returning syndicated strips in the wake of Labor Day weekend, but vital signs for NBC Universal’s highly anticipated freshman “The Jane Pauley Show” continued to be weak in its second stanza.
For the first four days of its second week, beginning Sept. 6, “Pauley” performed disappointingly against mainly rerun competition, pulling down a 1.7 rating and a 5 share in its Nielsen Media Research weighted metered market average. That figure was down 11 percent from the previous week’s tepid 1.9/5 and 26 percent from the September 2003 time period average of 2.3/7. The show was down 37 percent from its 2.7/8 average lead-in.
In sharp contrast, Warner Bros.’ “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” last season’s rookie champion, returned for a new season to a big welcome, scoring a 2.8/8, 65 percent higher than “Pauley” and up 40 percent from a 2.0/6 during its first four days last season. “Ellen” posted a 12 percent jump from its year-ago time period average of 2.5/7 and a 4 percent hike from its average lead-in of 2.7/8.
Buena Vista’s long-running “Live With Regis and Kelly” got off to a good start despite its age, scoring an average 3.9/12, which is even with its year-ago time period average as well as its average lead-in.
In a league of its own, King World’s “Jeopardy!” returned with installment No. 39 of contestant Ken Jennings’ phenomenal winning streak, picking up where it left off before reruns began in July. “Jeopardy!” averaged a 9.4/17 for the four days, up 36 percent from its year-ago time period average of 6.9/13 and up 40 percent from its lead-in average of 6.7/13.
Nielsen figures for the week of Sept. 6 do not include the Florida markets of Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Tampa and West Palm Beach, all of which were affected by Hurricane Frances. The numbers for the week of Aug. 30 did not include the Fort Myers market, which was hit by Hurricane Charley.
The vast majority of syndicated shows will have their new season debuts this week. Among them, seven freshman strips will be making their bows: Twentieth Television’s “Ambush Makeover,” NBC Universal’s “Home Delivery,” Paramount’s “The Insider,” Warner Bros.’ “The Larry Elder Show,” Sony’s “Life & Style” and “Pat Croce: Moving In” and Buena Vista’s “The Tony Danza Show.”