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‘Tyra’ Reels in the Key Female Demos

Oct 10, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Warner Bros.’ new talk strip “The Tyra Banks Show” improved its ratings performance in all key female adult demos and households from its first week on the air to its second, while NBC Universal’s new talker “Martha” saw across-the-board declines. But the top first-season strip among households remained Twentieth’s courtroom show “Judge Alex.”

“Tyra” grew 18 percent to hit a 1.3 national household rating for the week ended Sept. 25, according to Nielsen Media Research. In the women 18 to 34 demographic, the demo for which Warner Bros. has been selling the show to advertisers, “Tyra” grew 33 percent for the week to a 1.2. Among women 18 to 49, the show increased 25 percent to a 1.0 and jumped 13 percent to a 0.9 among women 25 to 54.

“Martha” was down 15 percent from its first week to a 1.7 rating in households and down 18 percent among women 25 to 54 to a 0.9. Among women 18 to 49 “Martha” dropped 11 percent to a 0.8, while among women 18 to 34 the talk strip was down 29 percent to a 0.5.

Stations running the new strips are “reasonably pleased” so far, though no long-term conclusions should be drawn for several more weeks, said Bill Carroll, VP and director of television for Katz Television Group.

“The stations that put ‘Tyra’ on hoping for some younger demos are encouraged by what they are seeing,” Mr. Carroll said. “Stations who put ‘Martha’ on anticipating she would have a good core solid audience are finding that true.”

“Alex” was down 5 percent for the week in households to a 2.0 and was flat for the week among women 18 to 34 with a 0.8. For women 18 to 49, “Alex” declined 10 percent to a 0.9, while among women 25 to 54 the courtroom strip declined 9 percent to a 1.0.

“Alex,” which is double-run back to back in several top markets, is working as part of a schedule of courtroom-based strips, Mr. Carroll said.

“It has contributed to pretty established courtroom blocks on most stations,” he said. “The audience has accepted it as part of an overall court strategy.”

Among off-network comedy strips, Warner Bros.’ “Sex in the City” scored a 2.0 in its debut week, while Debmar/Mercury’s animated “South Park,” which has a large number of late-fringe clearances, scored a 1.4 for its first week in syndication.

“Everybody’s pretty happy,” said Ira Bernstein, co-president of Debmar/Mercury. “The show’s been on the air 10 minutes, and we’re competing head-to-head against ‘Seinfeld’ and the top sitcoms, and we’re holding our own and sometimes winning.”

For their second week in syndication, both Buena Vista’s “My Wife and Kids” and Twentieth’s “The Bernie Mac Show” scored a 2.1 national household rating, and both grew 5 percent from their premiere week averages.

“My Wife” and “Bernie,” which are paired in several markets, are cleared in a number of markets where they serve as the bridge from first-run daytime fare to off-network product that runs in early fringe, Mr. Carroll said.

“In that particular context they are being used as transition players,” he said, “and as such the numbers are fine.”

The top new off-network one-hour weekly was Buena Vista’s “Alias,” which hit a 2.5, coming in second in the genre only to King World’s “CSI” (4.5). Warner Bros.’ “Smallville” and Sony’s “Stargate: Atlantis” both debuted with a 1.7, while Paramount’s “Enterprise” started its first week with a 1.2.

For its second week in syndication, Program Partners’ Canadian drama “Da Vinci’s Inquest” grew 21 percent to hit a 1.7.