Most others post flat or lower numbers for week ended Sept. 24.
The high-rated debut of King World’s Rachael Ray is the big story of the week ending Sept. 24, opening at a 2.3 household rating, according to Nielsen’s live plus same day household ratings. Rachael Ray is cleared in 98% of the United States.
That’s the highest-rated first week for any talk show since King World’s Dr. Phil was launched in 2002 and the second-best talk show debut in syndication for more than 10 years, since the premiere week of Warner Bros.’ Rosie O’Donnell in June 1996. In the show’s first week, Rachael Ray was the fourth-highest rated talk show in national syndication, behind King World’s Oprah, Dr. Phil and Buena Vista’s Live with Regis and Kelly.
Moreover, Rachael Ray accomplished that without the help of a strong lead-in. In five of the top seven markets, Rachael Ray’s lead-in is below a 1.0, although the show follows Regis and Kelly on ABC owned stations in New York and Philadelphia.
The second best showing among the talk rookies was Twentieth’s news magazine, Geraldo at Large, which scored a 1.6, unchanged from its first week. Geraldo is cleared in only 76% of the country and runs mostly in late fringe time slots in the top-50 markets.
In third, was Twentieth’s Cristina’s Court at a 1.4, up 8% from its debut week. In fourth place, NBC Universal’s Megan Mullally premiered at a 0.9 in 97% of the U.S., tying with the second week of Warner Bros.’ Dr. Keith Ablow, which is cleared in 98% of the country.
Ratings for Sony’s Judge Maria Lopez and Sony’s The Greg Behrendt Show both were reprocessed in their second weeks on the air, and thus were not available.
Among the rookie off-net sitcoms, Buena Vista’s According to Jim debuted at a 1.8 in 90% of the country. Coming in at a distant second was CBS Paramount’s One on One with a 0.9 in its second week on the air, unchanged week to week. Both the premiere week for Buena Vista’s Scrubs and the second week of Twentieth’s Still Standing were reprocessed by Nielsen as well.
On the weekends, King World’s newcomer CSI: Miami at a 4.5 was up 7% in its second week on the air, while Warner Bros.’ Without a Trace made its debut at a 2.7 in 97% of the U.S.
Ratings among the returning syndicated shows were not particularly strong on average, even though many shows debuted during the week ending Sept. 24. Levels of people using television were down by an average of 287,000 viewers from the prior week, with some shows preempted in some markets due to coverage of President Bush’s address to the United Nations on Tuesday, Sept. 19.
Among the talk shows, only Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks was up versus last year at this time with a 1.4 rating, up 8% over last year, although down 7% from the prior week. Genre leader Oprah, starting her 21st season, averaged a 6.5, up 16% from the prior week of repeats but down 7% from last year.
No court shows were up versus last year. CBS Paramount’s leader, Judge Judy, averaged a 4.4, unchanged from the prior week and down 2% from last year.
In game shows, King World’s game leader, Wheel of Fortune, was up 4% to a 7.6, unchanged from last year.
Among the magazines, every show was up or holding steady with last year. CBS Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight, long the genre leader, remained in first place with a 5.1, unchanged from the prior week but up 4% from last year.