Daytime talk show ratings causing concern

CouricLess than a month into the fall 2012 season, daytime televisions newest shows are experiencing some bumps in the road. We have already seen two major shake-ups, as well as questions about why ratings are not where there were projected to be.

On September 28, 20th Century Television announced that Lisa Kridos, the producer of Ricki Lake's Ricki, had been replaced by Gail Steinberg, who produced Lake's last daytime talk show. Lake's new show has had middling ratings and some critics called the move a distress call.

Yesterday, John Nogawski, head of CBS Television Distribution, was ousted, in part because of the poor start to The Jeff Probst Show. Nogawski served in the role for 30 years. He has been replaced by Armando Nunez, the networks' foreign sales head. Apparently this decision came from the top of CBS, as it intends to focus more on its increasing international growth while trying to rebuild domestic development and sales.

At ABC, Katie Couric's Katie, which had the highest expectations of any new show, has lost 10 percent in national ratings in just its second week. Affiliates are upset, saying that Couric and executive producer Jeff Zucker promised a topical show but have delivered a typical talk show, with guests such as Jessica Simpson revealing her Weight Watchers success story during the show's premiere episode. Topical, right?

"She made a big splash with an enormous amount of promotion," said an insider. "What's not holding up is the production of the show."

Can these shows be saved? Or is daytime TV dying?

- Katie
- The Jeff Probst Show
- The Ricki Lake Show

Written by: Hamatosan
Oct 3rd, 2012, 10:28 am


Message Posted On Oct 6th, 2012, 7:23 pm
Soap fans are the only committed audience for daytime TV - any other daytime viewers are transient at best and will not not tune in day after day. Traditional studio execs (from the 1950s to the 2000) remembered this lesson learned during the heyday of radio, even before tv, to their profit and viewers delight. Current studio execs thought that they could Buck this 50-plus year trend and replace soaps with (relatively) cheaper talk and reality shows, and still get the retain viewers. This has largely not been the case. Daytime TV will continue to bleed viewers and money unless it finds a way to make serial TV profitably. Reality and talk TV can work, but only if anchored by soaps and their viewers.
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