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Katie Couric Maintains Premiere Momentum Despite 9/11 Preemptions

Katie Couric on set of
Andrew Eccles/Disney-ABC Domestic Television

Ellen DeGeneres remains the top talk show and Steve Harvey shows continued strength, while Dr. Phil opens the season down from 2011 and Jeff Probst sees a ratings slide.

All syndicated talk shows saw lower ratings Tuesday due to preemptions and specials related to Sept. 11 coverage, but Katie Couric’s Katie continued to lead the pack of newcomers, virtually tying the season premiere of Dr. Phil, the top talk show of the past season.

Steve Harvey’s new talk show, which premiered a week earlier than Katie, also held steady, showing significant growth compared to the shows in the same time periods last year.

THR Poll: Daytime Viewers More Likely to Watch Steve Harvey Than Katie Couric

Ricki Lake continued to trail the pack but could boast that it saw an increase of 25 percent in its second day on the air in the key demo of women 25-54.

There wasn’t much good news for the new Jeff Probst talk show. It declined from its poor start on Monday.

The top talk show on Tuesday was the same as on Monday with Ellen DeGeneres showing her stellar premiere performance wasn’t a fluke. Ellen had an impressive 2.9 rating in metered markets which gave it a 8 percent share of the viewing audience, the same as the day before (even though her rating dipped to 2.9 from a revised 3.1 on Monday).

Live With Kelly and Michael continued to shine with a 2.8 rating and 10 percent share of all viewers in metered markets, down only slightly from 2.9/10 on Monday.

STORY: From Katie Couric to Ricki Lake: A Guide to Daytime's New (But Familiar) Faces 

Katie’s rating on Tuesday of 2.3 rating with a 7 percent share of audience meant she went down 18 percent but still retained an impressive 82 percent of her opening day audience. However, Katie saw a 33 percent decline in the key women 25-54 audience, from a 1.5 in the demo on Monday to a 1.0 on Tuesday.

Katie looked especially strong in the nation’s two biggest TV markets. In New York, Katie had a 2.0 rating with a 7 share, which beat the premiere of Dr. Phil (1.6/5), Steve Harvey (1.4/5) and Wendy Williams (0.5/2) in head to head competition.

In Los Angeles, Katie had a strong 2.8 rating and 8 percent share of audience, easily outdrawing the premiere of Dr. Phil (1.2/4), Steve Harvey (1.0/3) and Ricki Lake (0.5/2).

Katie improved on its opening day performance in 11 markets, including three of the top 15, which is especially important since the opening day is when a lot of people sample a new show and decide if they are going to return. In Katie’s case, a lot of people seem to have decided to come back a second day at least.

While Dr. Phil had a 2.4 rating and 7 share, he improved about 41 percent from his lead-in. His premiere on Tuesday was down about 8 percent from last September when he had a first day 2.6 ratings and 7 share of the viewership in metered markets.

Like Dr. Phil, Jeff Probst is from CBS, but the news was not as cheery. His rating on Tuesday was a 0.7 with a 2 share, down from a 1.0/3 on his opening day.

Steve Harvey is off to a very strong start. His show is up 40 percent in total households in metered markets from what was in the same time periods one year ago. In the key demo of women 25 to 54, his ratings are up 80 percent over a year ago in the same time periods, on the same stations.

These are all based on metered market ratings, which do not include the entire country. The full ratings for the entire U.S. will not be available until at least next Tuesday.