Katie Couric's new talk show is off to a strong start, ratings-wise.
Monday's premiere drew 2.8% of TV homes, according to preliminary Nielsens from 56 top cities, which makes it the highest-rated talk-show debut since Dr. Phil spun off from The Oprah Winfrey Show 10 years ago this month.
Katie's audience more than doubled most of its rivals: Among other newcomers, Steve Harvey drew 1.5% of homes to his Sept. 4 opener; Jeff Probst claimed 1% of homes for Monday's debut and Ricki Lake's new show averaged a low 0.8%. (The returning Anderson Cooper Live drew 1.3% for its season premiere.)
Katie was helped by more consistent time periods, following General Hospital in much of the country on ABC-affiliated stations, and built 12% from its lead-in programming. More accurate final ratings for this week, with viewership totals, are due Sept. 20.