Kris Jenner's Talk Show Finishes Strong, But Future Remains Unclear
During a six-week test run on six Fox stations, "Kris" started strong, dipped and then rebounded, with a big final day thanks to a visit from Kanye West and the first public photo of North West.
The visit on Friday from Kris Jenner’s daughter Kim Kardashian’s baby daddy Kanye West, who brought along the first picture of 3-week-old North West, almost certainly will provide the daily talk show Kris a ratings boost on the final day of its six-week test run on half a dozen Fox-owned TV stations.
Whether that will help convince the Fox-owned stations to make a commitment to air the show regularly beginning in September 2014, which would trigger a national syndication launch by producer and Fox sister company 20th Television, still isn’t a sure thing.
Unlike Bethenny, which got a test run on Fox last summer and showed increasing strength throughout its run – leading to its national launch this fall – Kris’s ratings were up, down and up again. The talk show had a strong first week in the ratings , but then dipped in the second week, and rebounded a bit in weeks three and four. Her final week is on track to be as good as her first week, and possibly even better, depending on Friday's results.
From its premiere on July 15 through Wednesday, Kris averaged a 0.8 household rating in its test markets, which was about even with its lead-in and roughly even with what was in the same time slots one year earlier, according to data provided by Fox’s syndication arm.
Kris did best in New York City airing at 11 a.m. on WNYW, where it scored a 1.0 rating, compared to a 0.7 in the same period last year, with a 43 percent increase. Among the key demographic group of women 25 to 54 in New York, Kris did a 0.9 rating, which was even with its lead-in and up 50 percent over what aired at the same time last year (0.9 vs. 0.6).
It also did well in Los Angeles, where Kris was up 60 percent from its lead-in (a 0.8 rating compared to a 0.5), and in Dallas, where it was up 29 percent over its lead-in (0.9 vs. 0.7). However, Kris was down 27 percent compared to the same time period last year. In Phoenix, Kris improved 40 percent over the what was in the same time period last year (0.7 vs. 0.5), and over what aired in May, according to Fox.
Bill Carroll, vp and director of programming for the Katz Media Group, believes Kris has a good shot at getting picked up for a national rollout, despite saying that it may largely depend on the Fox station groups' needs in fall 2014 in terms of other syndicated shows.
“I think they have a good story to tell,” says Carroll. “I think you also have the advantage of having a known personality that continues to be top of mind in the news. That makes it easier.”
So far for fall 2014, along with the many returning shows, new contenders already announced include talk shows starring Meredith Vieira and Marie Osmond.
Carroll believes Kris would be going after different kinds of stations than Vieira, who will be anchored on the NBC-owned stations in major markets. “Although [Kris] could run on traditional affiliates,” says Carroll, “it is more likely to be on Fox [which doesn’t program nationally during the day], The CW and My Network stations.”
Kris has some other things going for it. Since it will be produced by a sister company, the Fox stations have more incentive to pick up the show. However, there is no guarantee. Last year, 20th TV launched the Ricki Lake Show, and the Fox stations passed on it. That show, due to low ratings, ended after only one season.
Kris also generated a lot of buzz on social media and can be expected to continue to do so. According to Fox, Kris got 7.5 million views on YouTube, where it picked up about 1,300 new subscribers a day. On Facebook, Kris attracted 100,000 fans in its first four weeks and received 200,000 likes for its posts. On Twitter, Kris’s weekly impressions averaged between 75 million and 200 million per week.
It is unclear when the Fox stations group will make its decision about whether it wants Kris on its regular schedule, but Carroll says if they were to pass, it is unlikely the show would be able to go forward with a national rollout on other stations.