'Anderson Live' Surges Among Key Viewing Audience

Anderson Cooper Live Screengrab - H 2012

Anderson Cooper Live Screengrab - H 2012

UPDATED: The reinvented talk show with Anderson Cooper is up 67 percent among women 25 to 54 in the New York market, while "Dr. Phil" remains the top talker.

Anderson Live had the biggest weekly increase of any veteran talk show in national syndicated ratings released Wednesday, with viewership in the key demographic group of women 25 to 54 soaring 67 percent from the prior week and rising 100 percent from the same week a year earlier in the New York market last week. 


“We know people are responding to topical news,” says Terence Noonan, executive producer of Anderson Live. “People are finding this is where they can come to get topical news, whether it’s the Housewives or (the sentencing of) Jerry Sandusky and get Anderson’s opinion on it.”


For the week of Sept. 24, Cooper offered Julie Bowen, fresh from her Emmy win; Stephen Colbert; and the cast of Lifetime’s Steel Magnolias led by Queen Latifah, which days later became a highly-rated TV movie.

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There was also an investigation into why women pay more for many things. “That was a show people really responded to,” says Noonan. “We have always said this show is on the side of people. We are a consumer advocate. We are for the underdog.”

Cooper himself remains an underdog in the talk show wars, as his sophomore season started slowly. It has now picked up in the ratings and key demos.

“We believe everything is coming together,” says Noonan. “All the partners we have, our bloggers, the digital outreach. We think it is all paying off.”

For November sweeps Anderson, which usually tapes live shows four days a week (and pretapes Friday) will be live five days a week. “We know that being live is the best way,” says Noonan.

The ratings, released a day late due to the Columbus Day holiday, are for the week ending Sept. 30. They provide the first indication that the major changes in Anderson, which including re-naming it Anderson Live and adding a daily guest host, are beginning to have an effect.

Among the new talk shows Katie remains the highest rated with a 1.8 in households (unchanged from last week), and a 1.0 in the key demo, for total viewers (over age 2) of about 2.3 million a day on average.

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Steve Harvey’s household rating of 1.3 was unchanged, although total viewers rose 2 percent to about 1.75 million on average. More impressive is that Harvey jumped a strong 25 percent among women 25 to 54 (1.0 vs. 0.8) compared to the prior week.

Ricki Lake also saw an increase of 14 percent week to week, with a 0.8 household rating and a 0.6 in the key demo. She averaged about 1.07 million viewers a day.

Fox also pointed out in a press release Wednesday that Ricki, while still struggling to find a larger audience, is attracting the younger audience that was her trademark in her last talk show incarnation. Their research shows Ricki’s average viewer is 48.2 years of age, compared to 60.2 for Katie and 52.6 for Steve Harvey.

Jeff Probst, who continues to underperform, saw no week-to-week growth, with his household ratings of 0.7 unchanged from the prior week. He had a 0.4 in the demo, and his average audience size was about 890,000 viewers a day.

Trisha, which doesn’t have as strong a station lineup as other newcomers, still saw nice week to week growth, with a household rating of 0.5, up 25 percent compared to the prior week. Her total viewership grew from 551,000 to 593,000 on average each day during the week.

Dr. Phil continues to be tops among talkers, with a 3.1 household rating, which was up 3 percent from the same time last year. In the demo, he had a 1.7, which was up 6 percent year to year.

Live With Kelly & Michael, which had surged after the new host was introduced, had a 2.5 household rating, down 4 percent. It is still the second highest rated talk show as it was last week.

Dr. Oz had a strong week. His show had a 2.4 household rating, up 4 percent from the prior week. He had a 1.3 in the demo and averaged just over 3 million viewers a day.

Ellen, which has been on a tear since the season began, dropped 4 percent to a 2.3 rating. She had a solid 1.5 rating in the key demo and averaged about 2.97 million viewers a day.

Veteran conflict talker Maury continues to show strength. It had a 2.2 household rating and a 1.6 rating in the key demo, which was up 14 percent form the same week one year earlier. Maury for the week averaged just over 3 million viewers a day.

Thanks to Emmy coverage, it was a good week for entertainment news magazines. TMZ had a 1.9 in households and improved 9 percent week to week among adults 18 to 49.

The top rated entertainment news magazine show, Entertainment Tonight, had a 3.8 household rating, up 6 percent from the prior week. Inside Edition had a 3.1 rating, up 7 percent. E.T.’s struggling companion show The Insider, which is expected to get a major revamp later this year, had a 1.5 rating, which was up 7 percent from the prior week.

Access Hollywood, with a 17 household rating, and Extra, with a 1.5 rating also showed continued strength. However it was newcomer Dish Nation which surged 13 percent week to week to a 0.9 household rating.

As usual Judge Judy was the top syndicated show with a 6.8 rating, up 1 percent over the prior week. And among off network shows The Big Bang Theory was tops again with a 4.2 rating in the key demo and an average daily viewership of about 10.1 million.