A bi-coastal premiere week that included an interview with Caitlyn Jenner and a pair of shows from New York’s Rockefeller Center helped “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” match its all-time ratings high for an opening frame.
According to preliminary national Nielsen estimates for last week (excluding Labor Day), “Ellen” earned a 2.9 household rating/8 share, tying with its year-ago opening week as the best on record for the show, which is kicking off its 13th season. Its 1.6 rating in women 25-54 is its second best for a premiere week, behind a 1.8 in 2012.
“Ellen,” distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, fared especially well in New York on WNBC, delivering the program’s best-ever premiere week rating in women 25-54 (2.1/13), up a big 31% year-over-year.
For the week, “Ellen” proved to be a strong recruiter, building by 5 shares vs. its lead-in among women 25-54 and by 2 shares in households. And the show improved its time period on average over last year by 45% in women 25-54 and 32% in households. The biggest time period improvement among the top 10 markets were Dallas (up 138%), Boston (up 93%) and Atlanta (up 88%).
Tuesday’s premiere episode featured an interview Jenner in her first talkshow appearance. On Wednesday, “Ellen” welcomed 18-year-old activist and the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai. On Thursday and Friday, the show kicked off two shows originating from New York’s Rockefeller Center, featuring Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and “The Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon.
It was also a good premiere week for “Live with Kelly and Michael,” which was up over last year in households (3.0/10 vs. 2.9/10) for the show’s second highest-rated opener with the Kelly Ripa-Michael Strahan co-host pairing. The show from Disney/ABC Home Entertainment and Television Distribution also shot up by 18% in women 25-54, according to Nielsen’s Local People Meter ratings.
In New York, “Live with Kelly and Michael” delivered a 4.1/11 in households, ranking No. 1 in its 9 a.m. timeslot on each day of premiere week.