9:44am PT by Michael O'Connell
'Live!' Gets a Ratings Boost With New Co-Host Michael Strahan
It's still quite early to see how -- or if -- the addition of Michael Strahan will affect the show's ratings, but the former footballer's first episode as the official co-host of Live! did quite well according to live/same day Metered Market ratings.
The newly retitled Live! With Kelly and Michael posted a 3.9 household rating and a 13 share during the syndicated series' Tuesday season opener and ranked in the top spot in 14 of the top 15 U.S. markets.
That marks a 44 percent improvement from Live's September 2011 time slot average -- a high profile month that saw Kelly Ripa's 10-year anniversary on the broadcast and began the farewell campaign for co-host Regis Philbin.
It was the top-rated telecast since last November when Philbin left his TV home of three decades with a whopping 7.3 household rating with 23 percent of homes.
STORY: Regis Philbin's Final 'Live!' Broadcast Pulls 9.45 Million Viewers
And though Live! did see a drop after Philbin's final and record-breaking month, the show has been steady year over year, even seeing boosts among women. That's something Strahan could continue to help with. During his first broadcast, viewership among women 18-34 was up 83 percent over last September, with women 18-49 (up 70 percent) and women 25.54 (64 percent) also seeing significant jumps.
Live! fared particularly well in its native New York, where it scored a 6.0 rating and 18 percent of the TV-viewing audience. It bested its closest competition, the 9 a.m. hour of NBC's Today, by 150 percent.