UPDATED: The bulk of syndicated daytime talk show premiered yesterday, including one of two new talkers, Warner Bros’ Bethenny, which debuted nationwide after a test on several Fox stations in summer 2012. Bethenny, hosted by Bethenny Frankel, opened with a 0.9/3 in households and 0.6/4 in women 25-54. That was in line with the debuts of the two new talk shows last fall that didn’t make it to second season: Jeff Probst (1.0, 0.7) and Ricki Lake (0.8, 0.4). The bright spot for Bethenny was its demo performance, which was up double digits from its lead-in and the time period’s average last September, while the show was down in households. But there was good news for Warner Bros as its other talker Ellen, whose host Ellen DeGeneres also produces Bethenny, topped all syndication talker openers for a second year in a row. Ellen drew a 3.1/8 in households and 1.8/11 in women 25-54. That was up a tenth from last fall’s premiere in HH and down 18% from last year’s all-time high season opener in women 25-54. Compared with last September’s and May’s averages, Ellen was up by double-digits. Katie entered Season 2 with a 2.0/6 in HH and 1.1/7 in women 25-54. That was down 29% in HH and 31% in women 25-54 from the series’ big series premiere last fall but still good enough for second place among the talk show openers in the demo behind Ellen. Dr. Phil (1.8, 0.7) was No. 2 in households with a rerun because of CBS’ US Open coverage and will launch its new season today. Dr. Oz (1.3, 0.6) was down from last year as was The Doctors (0.9, 0.4). Holdover Kelly & Michael (3.0, 1.2), which opened its new season last week, finished neck and neck with Ellen in HH.
The other new syndication series that premiered yesterday, CBS Television Distribution/Tribune Broadcasting’s The Test, did a so-so 0.7 HH rating but observers note that the conflict talker has an upside potential. Plus, CBS and Tribune have a reason to celebrate today with the strong opening for the Arsenio Hall late–night talk show. Coming up next Monday is the debut of the last high-profile new syndie talker, Sony TV’s Queen Latifah, along with the return of Steve Harvey.
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