'Doctors' tops new strips

Five syndicated shows debuted Monday

While none debuted to spectacular ratings, talk show "The Doctors" came out on top of the five new first-run strips that launched Monday.

"Doctors" had a weighted average of a 1.6 household rating/4 share in 54 metered markets. That marked an 11% dropoff from its lead-in average and a 16% decrease from the year-ago time-period average. The series is a spinoff of "Dr. Phil" but didn't match that talk show's eye-popping debut in 2002 (5.3/14).

Fellow talker "The Bonnie Hunt" show came in with a 1.1/4 in 52 markets, the only new show to equal the time-period average from September 2007. However, it was still off 21% from its lead-in average.

Compared with other recent talk show debuts, "The Steve Wilkos Show" bowed last year with a 1.1/4 average in 48 metered markets, and "Rachael Ray" averaged a 2.8/9 in 55 metered markets in its September 2006 debut.

Game show "Deal or No Deal" averaged a 1.3/3 in 52 markets in its first day of national syndication. That was off 13% from the lead-in average and off 7% from the year-ago time-period average.

Two court shows also debuted Monday. "Family Court With Judge Penny" averaged a 0.9/3 in 33 markets, becoming the only new show to improve upon its year-ago time-period average (by 13%) and the only new show on par with its lead-in.

"Judge Karen," meanwhile, averaged a 0.8/2 in 44 markets, off 11% from its lead-in and down 20% from its year-ago time-period average.

The next test for the five new shows comes Wednesday, when Nielsen releases Day 2 numbers that will give a picture of whether the shows built upon, held onto or lost viewership after their premieres.
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