Does ‘Phil’ fill RX?

Skein is best hope for a firstrun syndie hit

The syndie sector is crossing its fingers that Monday’s debut of “Dr. Phil” will score boffo ratings, providing well-needed proof that firstrun syndication can still churn out instant hits.

No out-of-the-box sensation has emerged from firstrun syndication in years, and according to ratings info made available Monday, the six daily syndicated series that have debuted so far aren’t fitting that bill either: Data revealed less-than-spectacular preems and/or week-to-week drop-offs.

Hit-hungry eyes, therefore, will continue to be focused on King World/Paramount’s “Dr. Phil,” hailed as the one show that should be able to connect instantly with auds due to its strong lineup and “Oprah” pedigree.

Monday debuts

“Dr. Phil” debuted Monday along with four other strips: Tribune’s “Beyond With James Van Praagh,” Twentieth’s “The Rob Nelson Show,” Sony’s “Pyramid” and Disney’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”

Nielsen’s weighted metered market averages for the first day of the five new entries are scheduled to be available today.

Among the strips that premiered last week, NBC Enterprises’ “The John Walsh Show” and Paramount/Pie Town’s “Life Moments” both lost share points compared with their lead-in, according to Nielsen’s weighted metered market averages.

Both shows are cleared primarily in daytime and on NBC-owned stations.

Challenged followers

“Walsh” averaged a 1.5 weighted metered market rating/5 share, which was down 2 share points from its lead-in (1.9/7). That show is cleared in 51 metered markets.

“Life Moments,” cleared on 50 metered markets, turned in a 1.2/4, down 1 share from its 1.5/5 lead-in.

Telco’s “We the Jury,” which likewise debuted last week, turned in a 0.4/1 share, which was even with its 0.6/1 lead-in share. The series is cleared on 15 metered markets, mainly on independent stations.

Week 2

Among the week-two bunch, Disney’s “The Wayne Brady Show,” which debuted Sept. 2, dipped one share point from its preem week to its second week, earning a 2.2/7 last week, and a 2.5/8 the prior/preem week.

The share gap between “Wayne” and its lead-in widened week to week. In its preem week, “Wayne” was down 2 share points from its 3.4/10 lead-in. It was down four share points from its 3.3/11 lead-in last week.

Warner’s “The Caroline Rhea Show” was down one share point from its lead-in during both its preem week (1.3/4) and last week (1.2/4).

Warner’s “Celebrity Justice,” which was down one share point in its preem week and in its second week, turned in virtually the exact same perf week to week (1.1/3).

National household ratings for the shows that premiered Sept. 2 will be available today, although “Wayne” will not be included since that show does not have a barter advertising element.

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