Meredith Viera’s debut as daytime talk-show host yesterday clocked a preliminary 1.7/5  metered market primary run average — up 41% from the shows it replaced in its time slots last year at this time.  That’s the second-biggest increase over year-ago time periods for a talk-show premiere in nine years, behind only Steve Harvey’s show, which debuted in September 2012 with a 50% boost.

Meredith won its time slot in five of the Top 20 markets: Detroit (WXYZ at 3 PM), Phoenix (KTVK at 11 AM), Minneapolis (KSTP at 2 PM), Miami (WTVJ at 2 PM, and Sacramento (KCRA at 2 PM).

The show’s two best metered markets were: Birmingham, on WBRC at 2 PM, where it clocked a slot-winning 4.9/11 — more than triple time slot rival Wendy Williams (1.5/3) and up 96% from the station’s year-ago time period average; and Fort Myers, on WINK at 3 PM, where Meredith notched a first place 4.4/11, up 109% from the year-ago average in the slot.

Among women 25-54, Meredith opened with a 0.6/4 demo average — even with its September 2013 time periods — but clocked notable spikes in some markets, including a 400% year-to-year rise in Los Angeles (KNBC at 2 PM), and a 209% hike in Baltimore (WBAL at 11 AM), where the debut scored its best demo stats: 3.4/25.

Meredith is the first entry of the 2014-2015 rookie first-run strips to bow; yet to debut are The Real and Hot Bench on September 15, and Celebrity Name Game on September 22.