“Hollywood Squares” is happening for the CBS O&Os.
The syndie gameshow revival from King World Prods., which bowed Sept. 14, is so far pulling solid Nielsen numbers for the 11 major market Eye O&Os that carry the half-hour strip. The perf of the show on CBS-owned stations is crucial to its long-term survival; “Squares” is carried on CBS O&Os in seven of the top 10 markets.
For the first four days of last week, the CBS stations’ ratings are up an average 14% in the “Squares” timeslot compared with the same period last year, according to CBS numbers crunchers. In Gotham, where WCBS has been in a long slump, “Squares” has lifted ratings in the 7:30 p.m. timeslot 36% over the year-ago period.
If the momentum continues, “Squares” could be a boon to CBS’ primetime fortunes this season. All but two of the 11 O&Os are running “Squares” in the lucrative 7-8 p.m. hour leading into primetime.
“We’re counting on this show to recruit audience for us,” said Ben Zurier, veep of programming and research for the CBS O&Os. “We made a big commitment to this show … and we now know it’s something that we’ll be comfortable living with for a long time.”
The first-week ratings story wasn’t as lustrous for the other big-ticket King World strip that bowed last week: “The Roseanne Show” opened last Monday with a 3.3 household rating and 11 share in Nielsen’s 40 overnight metered markets. By Thursday, “Roseanne” had slipped to a 2.2/8, for a four-day preem-week average of a 2.8/9.
On the plus side, “Roseanne” has been maintaining its average lead-in rating (2.7/9) and continues to best its year-ago timeslot averages in many markets.