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Katie Couric crushes rivals

She scored the highest ratings in her talk show debut

  • This image released by Disney-ABC Domestic Television shows host Katie Couric, left, with celebrity guest JessImage Credit: AP
  • This image released by ABC shows host Katie Couric making her debut appearance for her syndicated talk show "KImage Credit: AP

Katie Couric won the battle of the new daytime TV talk shows, scoring the highest ratings for any such debut in 10 years.

“Katie,” the syndicated lifestyle venture from the former CBS news anchor and “Today” show host, crushed the premieres on Monday of Ricki Lake and “Survivor” host Jeff Probst, as well as the one by comedian Steve Harvey last week, according to early Nielsen ratings.

Featuring interviews with singer Sheryl Crow and Jessica Simpson, “Katie” was first in its time period in the top TV markets of New York and Los Angeles, and first or second in the 13 other biggest US cities.

Couric’s 2.8 household rating was 250 per cent higher than that of Lake, and 150 percent higher than Probst’s. A single ratings point represents 1 per cent of the estimated 115.9 million television households in the United States.

Numbers showing how many millions of viewers tuned in will not be available until next week.

“Katie,” distributed by Disney-ABC Television, equaled the daytime talk show debut 10 years earlier of TV therapist Dr. Phil McGraw. He launched his “Dr. Phil” show in September 2002.