Solid Start For Scripps’ Original Programs

First-run strips Let’s Ask America and The List, which debuted this week, are averaging a 1.9/4 and a 2.5/5, respectively, among metered market households, but are still down from lead-ins and year-ago time period averages.

Scripps’ new first-run shows Let’s Ask America and The List are pulling solid ratings since their debut on Monday. Game show Let’s Ask is averaging a 1.9 rating and 4 share through Wednesday, while newsmagazine The List is averaging a 2.5/5, based on weighted Nielsen metered-market household ratings in the seven Scripps markets in which the shows air.

However, the shows are trending down from their lead-ins and from the shows they replaced in prime access in six of the seven markets, CBS Television Distribution’s Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy.

Bob Sullivan, vice president of content at Scripps, said the TV group is “extremely pleased” with the performance of the shows so far, noting that it is “unfair” to compare them to longtime syndication stalwarts like Wheel and Jeopardy.

“We expect it will take some time for the new shows to reach their potential, but make no mistake: the preliminary performance has been very encouraging,” he said. “We were sober and realistic about our expectations in the opening days of these shows, and they have topped our internal projections in ways that have us very optimistic that audiences will build on this solid foundation.”

Let’s Ask, which is hosted by Kevin Pereira and has contestants at home answering trivia questions via Skype, is down 14% from its lead-in average in households. Compared to the shows it replaced, it is down 59% in households and down 40% among women 25-54, to a 0.9/3.

The List is a newsmagazine where the day’s top stories and best online video clips are counted down. Among households, It is down 58% compared to the shows it replaced and down 38%, to a 1.0/3, among women 25-54.


Let’s, distributed by Warner Bros. and is co-produced by Scripps, Telepictures and ParaMedia, is pulling ratings better than the national average for game show Millionaire (Disney-ABC), which is flat year-to-year at a 1.5/5 and down 14% among women 25-54 to 0.6/4.

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud is up 17%, to a 1.5/3, and flat at a 0.7/3 in women 25-54.

Both Scripps shows are airing on ABC affiliates KNXV Phoenix, WFTS Tampa, WMAR Baltimore, WCPO Cincinnati, WEWS Cleveland and NBC affiliate KJRH Tulsa, Okla. Let’s Ask also airs on NBC affiliate KSHB Kansas City, but The List doesn’t. Scripps plans to roll out the shows to more of its stations this year.

Comments (6)

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Roger Lyons says:

September 21, 2012 at 9:46 am

The first few days is not a benchmark for performance of these two shows because of curiousity viewing. Let’s see where they are in three months. Also, the Phoenix station has a contest where they are giving away money to a viewer a day who’s watching the new shows – wait until their promotion ends.

Ted Pierson says:

September 21, 2012 at 10:05 am

“Solid Start” is a pretty big stretch…. Go ask “America Now” and “Right This Minute”

Charles Cantu says:

September 21, 2012 at 10:38 am

I think the more relevant question regarding any/all of these shows is if the station or group programmer would have provided the same time periods, license fees, or even a clearance if these programs had been pitched by a syndication company. And the even bigger question is would America Now and/or Right This Minute still be on the air if pitched by a syndication company. The message for the studios and distributors is simple. Stations have to fill time periods. If you can’t create a cost efficient program they will do the best with what they have. The message to the stations is simple. It takes time to develop audience. Program the time slot and avoid the temptation to swap the deck chairs in the hope it will speed up the ship.

    Roger Lyons says:

    September 21, 2012 at 10:58 am

    It also takes time for viewers to find the new homes of “WoF” and “J!” The Scripps replacement shows are definitely not compatible with the demographics of the shows they that came before them.

Wagner Pereira says:

September 21, 2012 at 10:44 am

Local stations have heavily promoted and are also giving away $1000 locally in each show. How long will that last?

Teri Keene says:

September 21, 2012 at 10:53 am

If these shows were airing in my market, I’d check out “Let’s Ask America” – looks like an interesting concept (and I’m a game show nut.) I would have no interest in “The List”.