"Maury" thriving in new home

In a follow-up story on the Tribune story on Monday, the group’s trio of talk shows are having a resurgent year in daytime syndication. And Maury is one of those shows reaping the benefits.

In this B&C article from last week, Maury Povich talked about how his program has reactivated itself since moving to new facilities in Stamford, Connecticut from the Grand Ballroom of the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York City, where his talk show was taped for the previous eleven seasons (for seven seasons prior to that, it was called The Maury Povich Show under a different format and syndicated by Paramount.)

Maury joined two other shows in the move to Connecticut, thanks to tax breaks given by the state – The Jerry Springer Show and The Steve Wilkos Show, both were formerly taped  at the NBC Tower here in Chicago.

All three shows have seen ratings growth this year – especially Maury, whose ratings have grown 44% in households (2.3) and the adults 18-34 demo (1.3), and grew 56% among adults 18-49 (1.4) and up 49% in total viewers (3.4 million per day.) Povich says the recession and the growing unemployment numbers are the reason why there are more viewers are watching his show (more people are at home watching TV during the day.)

In fact, Maury has drawn more viewers in those key demos than some of The CW’s prime-time programs. Maury airs on many CW affiliates, including WGN-TV in Chicago, where it airs weekdays at 2 p.m. and 12:30 a.m.

In October 2009, Maury averaged a 1.8 household rating a 6 share locally, at 2 p.m. finishing second behind General Hospital and slightly behind Judge Mathis on WCIU, but blowing past Divorce Court and The Bonnie Hunt Show. The number is up 6% from what Steve Wilkos averaged in the time period in October 2008.

Povich, who a lot of us know from his days as host of Twentieth Television’s lurid (and fun) newsmagazine show A Current Affair, has treasured his transition from news anchor (he once worked at WMAQ-TV here in 1976-77) to a talk show post popular with the younger crowd in an age where those type of audiences aren’t exactly embracing anybody with gray in their hair.

Povich says the move to Stamford has brought in a more younger, energetic crowd. Stamford, where the show is taped, in only minutes from the numerous universities in the area, including the University of Connecticut and Yale.

While Maury has remained a hit with young audiences, his show has been critizied for exploring dysfunctional families, minority guests, and poor people through his show’s themes which run from paternity tests to out of control teens.

But Povich defends the show, noting the paternity tests serve some purpose – saying some men deny responsibility for their biological children.

While Povich’s show is growing in the ratings, the program is still black-listed by some advertisers because of content (then again, some of these same advertisers also advertise on more raunchier reality-TV fare on cable.) Is acting like a spoiled, rich brat  or 100 women fighting – sometimes literally – for a man’s heart – more appealing to advertisers than troubled teens or out-of-control moms?

Something to think about.

Maury, Jerry Springer, and The Steve Wilkos Show  have all been renewed through the 2011-12 television season.

Fact: Maury, along with Springer and Wilkos, tape at the Stamford Television Center in Stamford – only a few blocks away from where the World Wrestling Entertainment headquarters are located.

Fact 2: Before NBCU’s talk shows arrived in Connecticut last summer, the last time a syndicated talk show was taped in the state was Sally Jesse Raphael’s talk show, which taped in New Haven, Conn. from 1987 to 1989.  Raphael’s and Springer’s shows were once handled by Donahue syndicator Multimedia Entertainment, which folded into Universal Television in 1997.

Fact 3: Maury is a proud member of the T Dog Media Blog TV Hall of Shame.