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‘Ellen,’ ‘Wendy Williams’ and ‘Live With Kelly & Michael’ Among Strong Syndie Starters

Some of daytime’s most popular talkshows are off to strong ratings starts this fall, with “Ellen” having its best premiere-week ever and “Live With Kelly & Michael” attracting its largest opening-frame audience in seven years.

Also, “Wendy Williams” returned big as it kicked off its season on Monday of this week, finishing No. 1 among all talkshows in syndication’s key demo.

Looking at the Nielsen numbers, “Ellen DeGeneres” averaged a 2.8 household rating (based on fast national data) for the week of Sept. 8-12, up 4% from last year and the best start in the 12-year history of the Warner Bros.-distributed series.

It was also the top syndicated talkshow for the week in women 25-54, while also leading in women 18-34, women 18-49 and adults 25-54. Perhaps most impressive, and an indication that “Ellen” has become appointment viewing, it built over its lead-in by an average of 4 share points (80%)

NBCUniversal’s “Steve Harvey” averaged a 1.7 preliminary household rating for its premiere week, up 13% from last year (1.5). On average, it grew over its lead-in by 21% in households and by 33% in women 25-54.

The show, whose opening week included a rooftop performance by Pitbull at the Chicago Navy Pier, could be benefiting from its numerous station/time period upgrades this fall.

In nationals for Sept. 1-5, Disney-ABC Domestic Television’s “Live With Kelly & Michael” opened its season with year-over-year gains of 8% in households (2.7 vs. 2.5) and 7% in total viewers (3.59 million vs. 3.34 million). In the latter, this is the show’s best performance since premiere week 2007.

On Monday of the current week, Debmar-Mercury’s “Wendy Williams” finished No. 1 in women 25-54 (1.6 rating/11 share) as it bowed its sixth season, beating original episodes of “Ellen,” “Dr. Phil,” “Live With Kelly & Michael” and “Dr. Phil.”

“Wendy” was up over its year-ago premiere by 50% in rating and 49% in share, while scoring its best metered-market household rating ever (1.8, up 36% from last year).

Last week was the first for new talkshow “Meredith Vieira,” which averaged a 1.4 household rating/5 share in the overnights, winning its timeslot in Sacramento, Portland, Charlotte, Baltimore and Birmingham. “Meredith” also scored top market increases over year-ago time periods of 85% in New York, 100% in Los Angeles, 33% in Philadelphia, 20% in Dallas and 100% in San Francisco.

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