Katie Couric, Ricki Lake or Jeff Probs, Who Won Round 1?

Katie Couric’s comeback to daytime was bound to generate decent premiere numbers, but the margin among her freshmen class was impressive. Also debuting brand new talk shows were Survivor host Jeff Probst and Ricki Lake. Katie pulled in a 2.8 rating, according to overnight numbers. That number represents a 150% lead over Probst’s show and 250% over Lake’s return to the talk show format. Looks like nobody was missing Ricki from the daytime landscape. Even Steve Harvey who debuted his new show last week and Bethenny Frankel’s test run in the summer fared better than Jeff and Ricki. But unlike primetime, the daytime rating’s race is more of a marathon than a sprint. It’ll be interesting to see if Katie’s numbers hold in the coming weeks.

I watched Katie’s premiere and found it clunky at best. Her interview with Jessica Simpson who was debuting her post-baby body was awkward. Faring much better was the segment with Sheryl Crow who wrote the show’s theme song. As a side note, Crow looked sensational. Whatever she’s doing as part of her daily regiment is working. The 50-year-old singer definitely didn’t look her chronological age.

As uneven as Katie’s debut was, it was a million times better than Anderson Cooper’s second season debut. I definitely agree with Tyrell’s assessment of the premiere. Katie also bested Cooper’s numbers by 115%. Still, Cooper’s second season numbers were 18% up from last season. PS. Not loving Anderson’s new set. His former one with New York City serving as the backdrop was way better.

On the returning daytime talk show front, Ellen DeGeneres posted her best season premiere ratings since 2003. She scored a 3.0 in total households. I wonder if Britney Spears’ appearance was responsible for the increase. If so, Simon Cowell must be optimistic about The X Factor’s premiere on Wednesday.

Dr. Oz, despite being forced into time periods an hour earlier in some markets to make way for Katie Couric’s new show, delivered a 2.8 rating to start its fourth season. His talkie improved on what was in that time period a year earlier by 33%. Dr. Phil’s show didn’t air yesterday due to the U.S. Open Men’s Final, which was postponed, preempting his season premiere.

Did you watch any of the new talk shows? Or did you stay faithful to the returning ones? Which of the new daytime chat programs will get canceled first? Sound off below.

  • Tyrell

    I watched The Jeff Probst Show for the first time today and LOVED it. I think he has a good shot for the season.

  • “PS. Not loving Anderson’s new set. His former one with New York City serving as the backdrop was way better.”

    Was is just me or did it feel a little Jerry Springer-ish?

  • lennie

    I thought Katie’s new show was very good! My loyalty usually stands with Ellen DeGeneres when it comes to daytime talk shows, but I’m going to definitely make room for Katie! Unfortunately, it airs during my workday at DISH, so I have been relying on my Hopper DVR to record it for me. It is a daunting task for it to record both Ellen and Katie’s shows, but my Hopper has more than enough memory space to house each daily episode. I’m excited to see how Katie does as a daytime talk show host!