The arrival of former NFL superstar Michael Strahan, who replaced Regis Philbin nine months after he left his morning show, has led to an immediate ratings increase.
The first episode of the newly-retitled “Live! With Kelly and Michael” scored a 3.9 household rating and a 13 share Tuesday during the syndicate series’ season opener. In 14 of the top 15 U.S. markets, the show was rated number one.
It was the top-rated broadcast since last November, when Philbin left with a 7.3 household rating and 23 percent of homes. Tuesday’s show improved 44 percent since “Live’s” September 2011 time slot average. That month had Kelly Ripa celebrate her 10-year anniversary on the telecast, and the beginning of Philbin’s farewell campaign.
The show has been steady year-to-year, even with boosts among women, though there was a drop after Philbin left. Viewership among women 18-34 increased 83 percent over last September during Strahan’s first broadcast. Women 18-49 increased 70 percent and women 25-54 went up 64 percent.
In its Native New York the show fared quite well, scoring a 6.0 rating and grabbing 18 percent of the TV-viewing audience, beating its closest competition, the 9 a.m. hour of NBC’s “Today,” by 150 percent.