So far, the debuts of this season’s bumper crop of new first-run daytime syndicated shows are mostly down from their major fall 2005 counterparts.
Five of the seven new Monday-through-Friday syndicated shows debuted last week, and the highest-rated daytime series so far didn’t even match the lowest-rated daytime debut last year.
Last week’s top four-day performer in the metered markets, Twentieth Television’s “Geraldo at Large,” scored a 2.2 household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. “Geraldo,” a newsmagazine that runs in late fringe and even prime time in metered markets, has been on the air in many large markets since last year, but started airing nationally last week.
For brand-new syndicated weekday shows that air primarily in daytime, the top performer was Twentieth’s “Cristina’s Court,” which had a four-day metered market average of 1.2 in 51 markets. That is far below last year’s highest-rated show after four days on the air, NBC Universal’s “Martha,” which scored a 2.2 in its first week last year.
In fact, as this year’s top-rated daytime syndication debut so far, “Cristina,” didn’t even outperform the lowest-rated debut last year, Warner Bros.’ “The Tyra Banks Show,” which garnered a four-day metered market premiere average of 1.3.
The 2006 debuts could reflect a continued erosion in the benchmark ratings for first-run syndicated shows; however, two syndicated weekday series have yet to debut. Premiering this week are King World’s “Rachael Ray,” which many insiders consider the most likely to succeed among this freshman class, and NBC Universal’s “The Megan Mullally Show.”