In a crowded new daytime talk show landscape, Katie Couric emerged at the front of the pack in a very big way.
The premiere episode of "Katie," the former CBS Evening News anchor's new syndicated talk show, debuted to the highest ratings of any daytime talk show opener since 2002, when "Dr. Phil" debuted. Couric's first episode achieved a 2.8 household rating/8 share in the 56 U.S. metered markets, beating the competition by a wide margin.
New talk show competitors include Steve Harvey, who came in 2nd place with a 1.5/4 share, as well as Jeff Probst's new party room (1.0/3 share) and Ricki Lake (0.8/2 share) rounding things out. Returning shows from Anderson Cooper and "The Talk" (featuring the five hosts sans make-up) garnered decent ratings at 1.3 and 2.6, respectively. Other competition such as "Dr. Phil" was pre-empted Monday by the U.S. Open coverage.
Couric's first episode featured Jessica Simpson showing off her post-pregnancy weight loss, with the talk show improving on the ratings of its lead-in by 12% and its time slot's year-to-year ratings by 22%. In roughly half of the country, "Katie" replaced long-running soap "General Hospital," which now serves as the lead-in.
Can "Katie" continue to dominate?