‘Live With Kelly and Michael’ Wraps Strong First Season

'Live With Kelly and Michael' Wraps
Jeff Neira/Disney-ABC Domestic TV

Disney scores with another reinvention of its lucrative syndie franchise

Disney’s long-running ayem chatfest “Live!” is looking good with its tandem of Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan, last month logging its largest audience in a May sweep in four years.

The show, now titled “Live With Kelly and Michael,” averaged 3.243 million viewers in the April 25-May 22 sweep period — up 8% from last year when it was a solo Kelly Ripa fronting “Live With Kelly.”  It also drew a larger audience than the final two May sweeps of “Live!” hosted by Regis Philbin and Ripa, according to Nielsen.

The strong perf in its first year after Strahan become the permanent successor to Regis Philbin marks a big win for Disney’s syndie arm in successfully reinventing, for the second time, its lucrative daytime franchise. “Live” went into national syndication in 1989 with Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford as hosts; Ripa replaced Gifford in 2001.

In households, the first May sweep for “Live with Kelly and Michael” was up 9% from last year (2.5 vs. 2.3), tying with “Ellen” as the second most popular daytime talker (behind “Dr. Phil”), after ranking fifth a year ago.

The addition of former NFL standout Strahan as co-host has helped “Live” make demo strides, as its May sweeps average in women 25-54 (1.5) was 15% above last year for the show’s highest May number in six years. It was the biggest gainer of any of the top talkshows.

For the 2012-13 season that ended last week for most shows, “Live with Kelly and Michael” finished as the No. 2 syndicated talkshow in households (2.6 rating) and total viewers (3.408 million), edging out “Ellen” in both categories. It was up or flat in all key female demos.

Elsewhere in syndication for the season, it was another good one for veteran juggernauts “Wheel of Fortune” (10.78 million viewers), “Judge Judy” (9.48 million) and “Jeopardy” (9.41 million), with all three either on par or up in various categories vs. last year. Comedy “The Big Bang Theory” (11.12 million) was tops overall in syndication.

“Ellen,” which hasn’t wrapped its season, is the biggest gainer among talkshows, up across the board in demos and moving ahead of “Maury” and “Dr. Oz” in households (2.5) and total viewers (3.35 million). “Maury” remains No. 1 in women 18-49 (1.5).

“Entertainment Tonight” finished on top among entertainment magazines in households (3.7), total viewers (5.23 million) and women 25-54 (1.9). “TMZ,” with a median age of just 46, is the most popular mag among adults 18-34 (0.9).

The biggest gainer among all genres was No. 3 gameshow “Family Feud.” It’s up to a 4.7 in households, 6.90 million total viewers and a 2.4 in women 25-54 (up 50% from a 1.6).

The top new daytime talkshows were “Katie” (1.8 household rating, 2.35 million viewers overall) and “Steve Harvey” (1.4 HH, 1.96 million). They tied as the best rookie talkers in women 25-54 (0.9).

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  1. Mary Lee Lawrence says:

    I did love your show until today. In particularly Kelly focused on the Patriots footballs,you have no knowledge of what happened. I thought it was malicious what you did,very disappointed

  2. Am happy for Kelly and Michael who seem like very nice, hard-working people with a lot of talent. But am also happy the show won its Emmy for best hosts while Regis was there, because he deserved it big time!! Kelly and Mark are incredible because they don’t host together everyday. The show should bring in Josh Groban as permanent fill/in when Michael’s out because he and Kelly have great chemistry too. Common thread here? KELLY! Great comedienne and talk show host!

  3. Eileen Byron says:

    Today June 14 is the best day since Regis left the show! I was the banter between her husband Mark and their humor that made the show more family and homey! Kelly and Mark made me watch it to the end otherwise i would change channels! Please bring them back again as in todays world we need more family related good humor shows! Thank you!

  4. Jacee Smith says:

    I find those numbers hard to believe. I tried watching after Regis left, (and I only watched it after KLG left because of Regis), and it was unbearable. The new co-host has a voice that grates on my nerves. They took an iconic show that “belonged” to Regis Philbin and ruined it. Any of those numbers can be manipulated to look as if the show has higher ratings. They may do a certain age group; they may do a certain ethnic group; they may use the numbers when a “big” star is the guest that day. It is just like any other poll…they can make it say what they want it to say. I have not watched it since Regis left, and I don’t intend to ever watch it again. I wish Regis well in his new Sports show…Kelly & Michael…meh!!!!

    • Elaine says:

      Well Ms. Jackie – you are certainly missing a very good talk show….Kelly & Michael do enjoy working together and it shows….

      • Del Duerr says:

        I enjoy watching this show but find it annoying to watch Kelly watching herself on the cameras while the show is on. All the time primping her hair. Has anyone ever noticed this or is it just me?

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