Kelly Clarkson debuted her daytime TV talk show to the biggest audience since Oprah Winfrey left TV in 2012.
NBC's "The Kelly Clarkson Show" received a 1.6 live share, meaning 1.6% of all TV viewers were watching her show when it debuted on daytime television. It wasn't the most watched show that debuted this month. Overall, Clarkson came in fourth. But she had the best premiere since Disney’s Katie Couric premiered in 2012.
Clarkson’s big ratings mark the best start of any first-run series in the week ending Sept. 15th, according to Broadcasting Cable and Nielsen Media Research, the trusted company that has handled TV ratings for generations.
However, Clarkson may have a ways to go before replacing Oprah as queen of daytime TV.
“As a publicist I used to book on the Oprah Winfrey show and there will only be one Oprah. But for someone new, I think that Kelly is a fun person, she is really good,” Danny Astoria, former publicist for daytime TV talk show host Wendy Williams, told FOX Business. “I think people find Kelly to be relatable.”
"The Oprah Winfrey Show," also known simply as “Oprah,” starring the charismatic Chicago native, first debuted in 1986 and ran nationally for 25 seasons, through 2011.
“I think that with Kelly and Tamron, the networks are looking to go back to that Oprah sauce," Astoria said referring to Tamron Hall, the former NBC broadcast journalist who has her own syndicated talk show. "They want someone who is non-controversial, and someone that people feel like they can open up to."
Hall also debuted her show earlier this month and ladded only slightly behind the lead pack with a 1.0 share, which will set up a possible showdown between the two new daytime hosts.
Winfrey produced her show, which remains the highest-rated daytime talk show in the history of American television, and Clarkson has her eyes set on her turn at the top spot too.
But if the 37-year-old Clarkson, who broke into the hearts of viewers when she won the first season of American Idol in 2002, wants the top spot in daytime talk TV, she will also have to battle DeGeneres who debuted her 17th season and bumped up 17% to a 1.9 rating.
“Ellen has, in terms of ratings, in terms of that regular talk show space, has filled that vacuum, that void left by Oprah a little bit,” Astoria said.
After Clarkson’s big Idol win, her debut single, "A Moment Like This," became the best-selling single of 2002. Then in 2004, Clarkson had several number-one singles, including "Since U Been Gone" and "Because of You" off her second album "Breakaway." The sophomore effort sold 12 million copies and earned her 2 Grammy awards.
It was her time on Idol that created America’s love and trust for Clarkson that has made her talk show an instant hit says Astoria. “Remember during her Idol days, she was always the relatable one. She is like an every person type of person, which is something we need in daytime TV — someone everyone can gravitate to and someone we can feel open with and not feel judged.”
Clarkson came in a respectable fourth place in her debut, right behind the top three veterans Dr. Phil on CBS, "Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan" and Ellen DeGeneres’ show "Ellen."
“Kelly has a great opportunity to take over the daytime TV talk space because she is not going to talk negatively about anybody. But Tamron Hall is doing really well too, she is amazing and so this will all be interesting to watch how it all plays out,” explains Astoria.