Review based on a national syndicated rating report for the week ending September 8.
Viewer interest in the life of Valerie Harper, who died August 30, ignited three of the top entertainment magazines in the holiday session ending September 8. Harper was a breakout star on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and lead of her own series, “Rhoda.”
Although preemptions for Labor Day, Thursday Night Football and coverage of Hurricane Dorian in several markets made it difficult for most syndicated shows to advance, Entertainment Tonight (eight-week high 2.5 live plus same day national Nielsen rating, up 4% from the week before), Access (1.1, up 10%) and Extra (1.0, up 11%) overcame all the obstacles and cruised to higher numbers. In addition, “Extra” surged 25% in the coveted W25-54 demo.
Most other shows in first-run were down or flat.
At the top of the chart Judge Judy (6.1, down 5%) continued to outperform every other program for a sixth straight week, despite being in reruns for part of the frame.
Dr. Phil (2.2, down 4%), also partly in repeats, still finished first in the talk category for the 157th consecutive week.
Live with Kelly and Ryan (1.9, steady) got season 32 of the “Live” franchise underway, cementing its standing as syndication’s second highest talker for the 28th week in a row. Ellen DeGeneres (1.4, unchanged) was third.
The Kelly Clarkson Show (1.5/5 weighted metered market average, up 36% from its year-ago time periods) and Tamron Hall (1.2/4), the two big talk newcomers which premiered September 9, both got off to impressive starts in their first week. The strips opened strongly despite being negatively impacted and, in some cases, being preempted due to 9-11 memorial coverage.
“Kelly Clarkson” had the highest-rated opening week of any first-run show in six years and scored increases of 50% in New York, 86% in Los Angeles, 133% in Boston, and 140% in San Francisco over year-ago time periods. “Clarkson” also jumped 25% on average in the key W25-54 demo. The show’s most striking performance was in Nashville, where it went through the roof with a 5.7/16 at 9am, taking its year-ago time period up 30%.
Also roaring out of the gate in week one, “Tamron Hall” tallied the best-rated premiere week of any syndicated talker in five years, other than “Clarkson’s.” Moreover “Hall” finished first or second in its time periods in six of the top 10 markets, including sharp year to year gains of 19% in New York, 43% in Los Angeles, 44% in both Philadelphia and Atlanta, and 80% in Houston.
The best opening week overnights for “Tamron” were a 2.8/7 in Memphis at 1pm, up 40% from its lead-in, and a 2.5/8 in West Palm Beach at 10am, up 38% over the “Dr. Oz” rating in the same time slot last year.
Further back in the ratings was a third new talker, Mel Robbins (0.4/4 preliminary all-telecast weighted metered market average, down 50% from its year ago time periods for its September 16 premiere).