The Washington Post

First week of Katie Couric’s talk show gets big ratings, early stats say

Katie Couric talks to Jennifer Lopez on new daytime talk show "Katie.” (Disney-ABC Television)

“Katie’s” week, which started big before taking a spill, ended strong Friday with a Jennifer Lopez interview. (Couric got J-Lo to comment on the new “American Idol” judge panel by incorrectly ensuring her Fox had confirmed the names — which Fox did not do until Sunday).

But “Katie” finished No. 4 among all syndicated daytime talk shows. The top spot belonged to returning Ellen DeGeneres, whose early numbers are up 45 percent compared to the same week last year. Ellen owes some of that uptick to better lead-in numbers in several key markets, compliments of Steve Harvey’s new talk show.

And “Live! With Kelly” actually achieved the biggest opening number of all when it officially unveiled Michael Strahan as Kelly Ripa’s new co-host and the show was renamed “Live! With Kelly and Michael.” That opener had been cleverly scheduled a week early, to avoid the crush.

Jeff Probst and Ricki Lake’s new talkers brought up the rear during “syndie talker premiere week,” early numbers suggest. Unfortunately, by the time final Nielsen numbers on this front come out next week, we all will have moved on.

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