The Biz: Analyzing This Season's Talk Shows
Ellen DeGeneres, Rosie O'Donnell
Big changes and familiar faces have stirred up the talk-show arena this season. Here's how it's shaking out so far.
Ellen DeGeneres was expected to benefit from Oprah Winfrey's departure in daytime and so far, she has. The syndicated chatfest is up 6 percent year-to-year, averaging 3 million viewers.
ABC execs expected ratings to drop when they replaced All My Children with The Chew and they were right — year-to-year, the food-oriented talker is off 15 percent. But the production costs are much less and audience levels have been ticking upward, with a season high of 2.2 million viewers watching the week of October 31.
CBS rearranged the chairs around the coffee table (Leah Remini and Holly Robinson Peete were replaced by Sheryl Underwood and Aisha Tyler), but the audience level has stayed close to last year's average of 2 million and recently hit its season high.
Anderson Cooper's show is drawing 1.7 million viewers, and in times of fragmented audience, that's enough for a Season 2 in syndication. "If you show some promise, TV stations are more patient," says Telepictures president Hilary McLoughlin.
The Rosie ShowIt's hard to imagine that Rosie O'Donnell's new show on OWN is one of Oprah's favorite things. It's been dropping since its premiere week, averaging a puny 171,000 viewers overall and a scant 58,000 in the 18-to-49 demo.
Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!