So far, so good, say the stations that introduced Sony’s Dr. Oz this week. Most are enjoying big time-period gains over last year and expect that the household rating/share will grow beyond the 1.7/5 of the first three days.
TV stations that introduced Dr. Oz to their viewers on Monday are feeling good about the highly anticipated talk show, a virtual spin-off of Oprah. The show generated a steady 1.7/5 in households over its first three days, and delivered big year-over-year, time-period gains for most.
“It’s off to a fairly decent start, so we’re encouraged by that,” says Jim Clayton, vice president and general manager at KOMO, Fisher Communications’ ABC affiliate in Seattle.
“We expect it to be successful and certainly it’ll get sampling because he’s well-known and has been on Oprah. In about a month, I can tell you how happy I am.”
In its first three days in Seattle, Dr. Oz averaged a 2.0/7, up 54 percent from its time slot average a year ago.
Nationally, Dr. Oz is improving on its time slot averages by about 31 percent.
(The ratings for this story are the Nielsen overnights of the primary runs of the show from the 56 metered markets)
Dr. Oz is carried in the top markets by the Fox O&Os, which syndication watchers see as a challenging daytime environment for a health and lifestyle show like Oz. In New York, on WNYW, the show is framed by judge shows.
Yet the show held its own in the three biggest markets. In New York, it averaged a 1.8/6, flat over last year, but jumped to a 2.1/7 on Wednesday. And it improved the time slot ratings in Los Angeles and Chicago by 21 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
The show generally did better on Big Three affiliates where it tended to get lead-ins from soap operas and other syndicated talkers like Dr. Phil and Rachael Ray.
“There’s been continued growth in households and demos every day,” says John Tamerlano, general manager at Fisher’s ABC affil in Portland, Ore., KATU, where Dr. Oz delivered a 2.7/9 over the three days and improved the time period by 145 percent. “What’s happening is more audience is coming in and the people who sampled it are coming back.”
Dr. Oz, which is co-produced by Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions and distributed by Sony Pictures Television, is cleared in 99 percent of the country. It features Mehmet Oz, an Ivy League-educated heart surgeon who rose to TV prominence as a frequent guest on Oprah.
“The first day of Oz, we were delivering almost four times as many women 25-54 as we had with Judge Joe Brown,” says David Boylan, vice president and general manager of WPLG, Post-Newsweek’s ABC station in Miami. “I’d call that an immediate cure.”
In key national demographics, Dr. Oz has slipped slightly since its debut. Among women 18-49, it averaged an 0.8/5 on both Monday and Tuesday but a 0.7/4 on Wednesday. In women 25-54, it had a 0.9/5, 0.9/5 and a 0.8/5.
“It’s still early and the first day it was up against U. S. Open tennis in this market, but I like the show. It’s got good pacing and Dr. Oz is growing as a host,” says Byron Grandy, station manager of KMGH, McGraw-Hill’s ABC station in Denver, where the show averaged a 2.5/8 for the three days and popped to 3.2/10 on Wednesday, up 60 percent from a year earlier.
“My expectation is we will grow the time period, especially in demos.”