Strong Debut For Disney-ABC’s ‘Katie’

The new ABC talk show generated a 2.8 household rating and 8 share in the overnights, tying Rachael Ray in 2006 as the highest-rated debut in a decade. In the other talk premieres yesterday, CBS’s Jeff Probst was up 40% from its year-ago time slot average in the women 25-54 demo, while Twentieth’s Ricki was plagued by the Cablevision-Tribune retrans fight that kept it off 40% of the homes in New York.

Critics may not have loved Katie but TV viewers turned out in big numbers for the debut of Disney-ABC’s Katie Couric show on Monday. The talk show generated a 2.8 household rating and 8 share, tying CBS Television Distribution’s Rachael Ray in 2006 as the highest rated debut since Dr. Phil in 2002, based on Nielsen metered-market ratings.

Katie improved on its average lead-in by 12% and its year-ago time slot averages by 22%. Among women 25-54, Katie had a 1.6/9, up 14% over last year.

The show benefits from airing on strong stations such as top-market ABC O&Os like WABC New York (2.0/12), where it was up 11% over soap General Hospital in the time slot last year.

Katie ranked No. 1 in its time slot in both New York and Los Angeles and No. 1 or No. 2 in the top-15 markets.

CBS Television Distribution’s Jeff Probst had a 1.0/3, down 9% from its time slot average last year. Jeff slipped 29% from its lead-in average. However, among women 25-54, Jeff improved 40% from its year-ago time slot average, to a 0.7/4.

In New York, Jeff was up 125% among women 25-54, to a 0.9/6.


Twentieth Television’s Ricki Lake, which was not available in about 40% of homes in the New York DMA because of a retrans dispute between Cablevision and Tribune, which airs Ricki on WPIX New York, had a 0.6/2.

That was down 40% from its year-ago time slot average and down 33% from its lead-in. Among women 25-54, it had a 0.3/2, down 25% from its year-ago time slot average.

Meantime, NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey last week averaged a 1.5/4 in its debut week, up 50% from year-ago time slot averages and 25% from its lead-in average.

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Gregg Palermo says:

September 11, 2012 at 11:54 am

You know who else had a fantastic first day in talkshow syndication? Jane Pauley, in 2004.

david conant says:

September 11, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I hope Katie and the others do well this season. It’s good for all of us.

Walter Raps says:

September 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Although most of us who are industry vets know not to judge the performance of a new show based on its first day, I am sure we will see all sorts of proclamations from Disney or others that “KATIE IS A HIT”! Let’s check back in a month and see the trend. Same for ALL the new talk shows. Jill is right, the success of these shows is good for the industry. Rooting for them all!

Jaclyn Hansen says:

September 12, 2012 at 11:26 pm

If you compare name recognition of Dr. Phil in 2002 and Rachael Ray in 2006, I think you’d have to conclude Couric’s debut is not that not awesome. Couric had something like (I’m guessing) 13 years at Today and 5 at CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes before her own show debuted. Dr.Phil and Ray had been occasional guests on Oprah’s show. And her show is on top ABC O&Os, which has to give her a leg up. If anything, I think 2.8 might be saying America has had enough of Katie.

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