'Steve Harvey' Gets Best Syndicated Debut Since 'Dr. Oz'

Steve Harvey

He is an established stand-up comedian who brings an audience that has fallen in behind him thanks to his hit movies, best-selling books and TV series including his successful hosting of "Showtime at the Apollo" and, most recently, "Family Feud," where he goosed the ratings.

Steve Harvey may have been onto something by premiering his new talk show a week ahead of his biggest competition.

Six days before the premiere of new daytime outings from Katie Couric, Ricki Lake and Jeff Probst, the comedian launched his new syndicated series on Monday to solid ratings according to Metered Market returns.

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

The first episode of the self-titled talker received a 1.5 household rating and 4 share in 48 markets, a 50 percent jump in the time period average, year over year. It's also a 25 percent gain from its lead-in.

No series has posted stronger MM numbers since Dr. Oz premiered in 2009.

Among the especially sought after female demographics in his time period, Harvey was up 133 percent, year over year, with women 18-34, 100 percent with 18-49-ers and 80 percent among 25-54-year-olds.

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

Elsewhere in syndication, the official end of the 2011-12 season gave another win to Judge Judy, easily the top performer with an average 7.0 HH rating. Dr. Phil won among talk show hosts with a 2.9 rating.

In third, just behind Dr. Oz, was Live! With Kelly. Her largely solo outing last year averaged a 2.5 rating. That number, of course, was eclipsed on Tuesday with the highly-rated addition of Michael Strahan. The new co-host's first day on the job pulled in a 3.9 rating.