2008-09 Autopsy: How Freshmen Fared

Jan 4, 2009  •  Post A Comment

Nearing the halfway point of the season, NBC Universal Domestic Television’s “Deal or No Deal” and CBS Television Distribution’s “The Doctors” are quickly pulling ahead of the freshman first-run daily syndication pack for 2008.

“Deal” and “Doctors” continue to fight for the top spot. At the beginning of December, “Doctors” posted a 1.9 season average, climbing 46% from its premiere in September, according to Nielsen Media Research.

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“Deal” remained close behind with a 1.8 season-to-date average, up 13% from its debut.
At press time, “The Doctors” remains the only freshman series to receive a pickup for next season.

As “Deal” and “Doctors” shoot it out at the front of the pack, nearly a full ratings point separates the second- and third-place programs, as Sony Pictures Television’s “Judge Karen” is holding a 1.0 season-to-date average.

“Karen” has slipped 9% from its premiere.

In fourth place, Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution’s “The Bonnie Hunt Show” remains nearly flat with its start. It’s averaging a 0.9 household rating, up 13%, or a tenth of a ratings point, from its premiere.

Tied for last place, Program Partners’ “Family Court With Judge Penny” and Debmar-Mercury’s “Trivial Pursuit: America Plays” have held on to a 0.6 average, the same as their premiere ratings.

Among weekend fare, Disney-ABC’s “Legend of the Seeker” averaged a 1.9 household rating, a sharp 53% decline from its two-hour premiere in November. However, the show’s premiere episode was given preferential time periods versus its standard airings.

“Seeker’s” second episode posted a 2.0 household rating, giving a better indication of what the show typically was going to rate.

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