‘Iyanla’ ratings uneven

Syndie pulls moderate numbers for season opener

NEW YORK — The 2001-02 firstrun-syndication season got off to a shaky early start with a disappointing opening day for Buena Vista TV’s highly touted “Iyanla” talkshow.

The one-hour “Iyanla” managed only a 1.6 rating in the metered-market overnights for Aug. 13, falling by 24% from its average lead-in rating and by 11% from the time-period average of a year ago.

“Give us a break – it’s only the first day,” said a spokeswoman for Buena Vista TV. She said BV wants to get three or four days’ worth of numbers before it starts publishing reports on the data.

But industry researchers were poring over the numbers, pointing to a weak performance of “Iyanla” on KNBC Los Angeles at 10 a.m., where the show finished with a 1.0 rating, losing 44% of its lead-in audience and 38% of the rating from the year-ago time period.

On WABC New York at 12:35 a.m., however, “Iyanla” wound up second in the time period with a 2.2 rating, jumping 22% from the average rating of the time period for August 2000.

The show’s worst big-market performance was on WHDH Boston, where “Iyanla” delivered an anemic 0.5 rating, 69% below its lead-in and 44% down from the August 2000 average for the time period.

Conversely, if WGCL Atlanta were the criterion, “Iyanla” would be a palpable hit. It scored a 2.6 rating in Atlanta, 225% above the “Martha Stewart Show” lead-in and 37% above the August 2000 average.