As Rachael Ray might say, the ratings for her new syndicated talk show are “insanely good.”
King World-distributed “Rachael Ray,” which debuted Sept. 18, not only immediately emerged as the ratings leader by far among the seven new Monday-through-Friday syndicated shows to debut this season, the show posted the best daytime premiere since King World’s “Dr. Phil” entered syndication in 2002. For its first four days, “Rachael” garnered a weighted meter market average 2.6 household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. That was above last season’s best opening-week performer, NBC Universal’s “Martha,” which scored a 2.2 in its debut. Despite “Rachael’s” performance, the show is still considerably behind “Dr. Phil’s” 2002 debut, which garnered a 5.3 rating.
In its first four days, “Rachael’s” ratings were 18 percent higher than its lead-in (2.2) and up 24 percent from its own time period average from September 2005 (2.1/7).
“It was a wonderful start for Rachael and our show, and we couldn’t be happier with the ratings,” King World CEO Roger King said in a statement.
The week’s other major syndicated daytime premiere, NBC Universal’s “The Megan Mullally Show,” did not hit the same ratings highs. “Megan” scored a 1.0 rating in its first four days, down 17 percent from its lead-in (1.2) and down 29 percent from its year-ago time period average (1.4).
NBC Universal expects “Megan” to gain audience, but it may take time for a show with more of an entertainment focus to bring in viewers in daytime, said Sean O’Boyle, senior VP and general sales manager for NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution.
“We’ve got a good starting point, and we’re optimistic for creative growth and certainly ratings growth,” Mr. O’Boyle said.
Among new syndicated strips that debuted two weeks ago, the top performer is Twentieth Television’s predominantly late-fringe newsmagazine “Geraldo at Large,” which garnered a 2.1 four-day average last week. That was down 5 percent from its debut week (2.2/5), but down 22 percent from its lead-in and up 5 percent from its year-ago time period average. “Geraldo” debuted nationally this month, but ran on selected Fox-owned stations during the 2005-06 season.
Judge show “Cristina’s Court” from Twentieth Television scored a 1.0 rating in the first four days of its second week, down from its 1.1 rating in its debut week. It was down 9 percent from its lead-in and year-ago time period average.
Fellow court show “Judge Maria Lopez” from Sony scored a 0.8 rating for the first four days of last week, down 11 percent from its debut week. “Lopez” was down 11 percent from its lead-in and even with its year-ago time period average.
Warner Bros. talker “The Dr. Keith Ablow Show” scored a 0.9 rating last week, down from its 1.0 debut week performance. “Ablow” was down 31 percent from both its lead-in and year-ago numbers (1.3). Sony’s “The Greg Behrendt Show” garnered a 0.7 for the first four days of last week. That was down 30 percent from its lead-in and year-ago average (1.2).
Among off-network Monday-through-Friday debuts, Buena Vista’s “According to Jim” was the top performer last week with a 1.4 four-day average. That was down 13 percent from its lead in (1.6) and 26 percent from its year-ago time period average (1.9). Buena Vista’s other new offering, “Scrubs,” scored a 1.0 last week, down 9 percent from its lead-in and down 17 percent from its year-ago average.
CBS Paramount’s “One on One” scored a 0.8 last week, even with its lead-in and year-ago average. Twentieth’s “Still Standing” garnered a 0.7 last week, down 22 percent from its lead-in and time period average.