Harvey scores in syndication

Gameshow, talker both hit season highs

Syndication has been good to Steve Harvey this year. The comic actor/radio host/talkshow host has seen the two shows he headlines climb the charts, with some considering his style of urban hip to be a measuring stick for success.

In the first full week of 2013, the Harvey-hosted “Family Feud” hit a series-best live plus-same day household rating of 5.4, ranking it fourth overall in firstrun syndication and placing second (with a 2.3) to CBS Television Distribution’s “Judge Judy” among women 18-49. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, “Feud” ranked third (2.6), trailing only “Judy” (3.6) and CTD’s “Wheel of Fortune” (2.7).

“Feud,” up a whopping 69% compared with last year, is seeing this kind of surge because stations last year upgraded it to access and primetime slots, where it’s now cleared in some 80% of the country.

Meanwhile, NBCUniversal talker “The Steve Harvey Show,” produced by Endemol USA, also is seeing growth. For the week of Jan. 7-13, “Steve Harvey” hit a series-high 1.6 in households, and a 1.0 among women 25-54, the latter number tying Disney-ABC’s rookie leader, “Katie.”

The return of “Steve Harvey” next year is already guaranteed, and NBCU’s sales force is working to renew it, with time-period upgrades, through the 2015-16 season.

That success is why Disney-ABC is expected to seek a host with similar urban and comic flair next season when it replaces Meredith Vieira on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” (Vieira is in talks with NBC about a daytime talkshow of her own.)

Gameshows are certainly thriving in syndication. Only CTD’s category leader, “Wheel of Fortune,” and “Millionaire” are down year to year, and not by much: “Wheel” has dipped just 3% compared with last year at this time, and is tied for the syndication lead at a 7.6 household rating; “Millionaire” is down 8% for the year, to a 2.4.

Still, “Feud’s” ratings gains offer proof to syndicators and stations that adding a new host can do wonders for an aging show.

Just look at Disney-ABC’s “Live! With Kelly and Michael,” which this season replaced Regis Philbin with Michael Strahan as co-host, and is easily holding its own for the year at a 2.6 among households. Over the holidays,” Live” was the top talker in households for three weeks in a row, beating CTD’s usual champ, “Dr. Phil.”

Says one syndicator: “You have to have the skills to succeed in syndication, but you also have to be in a show that appeals to people in a time period when they are available to watch.”

Steve Harvey has touched all those bases twice.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • The First -- "The Choice" -

    Sean Penn Drama 'The First' Was 'Unrelatable' to British Audiences, Channel 4 Exec Says

    Channel 4’s director of programs Ian Katz says the British broadcaster has learned a good lesson from the failure last year of its big-budget Hulu co-production “The First” to resonate with U.K. audiences. Speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Katz described the Sean Penn-starring drama about a mission to Mars as a “really classy piece [...]

  • Hugh Laurie

    Hugh Laurie to Star in New BBC Thriller 'Roadkill' by David Hare

    Hugh Laurie, the Golden Globe-winning star of “House” and “The Night Manager,” will play a beleaguered politician in a new four-part thriller for the BBC, “Roadkill,” from acclaimed playwright and screenwriter David Hare. The series is being produced by The Forge (“Collateral”). Laurie stars as Peter Laurence, a charismatic Conservative Party government minister who remains [...]

  • Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth WarrenSecond 2020

    ABC News Sets Moderators, Rules for Third Democratic Debate

    ABC News has announced the moderators for the third Democratic debate, as well as the qualification rules. The debate will be held on Thursday, Sept. 12, and will spill over to Friday, Sept. 13 if more than 10 candidates qualify. The moderating team will consist of chief anchor George Stephanopoulos, “World News Tonight” anchor and [...]

  • James Corden Paul McCartney Carpool Karaoke

    James Corden Got a Little Help From Paul McCartney on His Drive to the Emmys

    Saying “Baby, I could drive your car” has proven to be a very good strategy for James Corden — never more so than when he put Paul McCartney into the highly sought passenger seat. The primetime special “Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney, Live From Liverpool” is a contender in five Emmy categories this year, [...]

  • Starz Logo

    Starz Orders Horror Comedy Pilot 'Shining Vale'

    Starz has put out a pilot order for “Shining Vale,” a horror comedy which hails from “Divorce” creator Sharon Horgan and “Trial & Error” co-creator Jeff Astrof. The prospective series is about a dysfunctional family that moves from the city to a small town into a house in which terrible atrocities have taken place. But no one [...]

  • Bethenny Frankel at the showtime Emmy

    Bethenny Frankel to Exit 'Real Housewives of New York' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Bethenny Frankel is stepping away from the “Real Housewives” franchise. Variety has learned exclusively that Frankel is poised to exit Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York” ahead of its upcoming twelfth season. Frankel first joined the acclaimed reality series back when it premiered back in 2008 before exiting the series in 2010 during the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content