‘Queen Latifah Show’ averages 1.8 million viewers in first week

It was a good week to be the queen.

Queen Latifah’s new talk show averaged 1.8 million viewers an episode during its premiere week, according to Nielsen ratings data.

The hour-long talk and variety show, which debuted on Sept. 16, got off to a solid start. However, it has not delivered blockbuster ratings that some had hoped for.

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Two more established talk shows attracted larger audiences during the week of Sept. 16. “Katie” with Katie Couric drew an average of 2.3 million viewers each day, according to Nielsen. “The Steve Harvey Show,” tucked in with 2.1 million viewers.

But Sony still considers “The Queen Latifah Show” a hit because it has dramatically outperformed the program that it replaced in its time slot on CBS stations last year: “The Doctors.” It was the second-highest rated talk show premiere since 2009. Sony pointed out the show was sampled by nearly 10 million viewers in its initial week.

Advertisers also want to be associated with Queen Latifah, as she is one of the most admired celebrities in daytime, according to a recent Q Score survey.

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Sony Pictures Television produces and distributes the show, which is shot before a live studio audience on the Sony lot in Culver City.

Queen Latifah’s ratings throttled that of another new freshman talk show, “Bethenny,” which features Bethenny Frankel, a break-out star from Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New York.”

During her first week, Queen Latifah interviewed John Travolta, Jamie Foxx, Will Smith and Jake Gyllenhaal.

[For the record: An earlier version of this story stated the show’s ratings did not achieve some expectations, including within Sony Pictures Television. A Sony spokeswoman said the studio has not been disappointed with the show’s early performance.]

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Follow Meg James on Twitter: @MegJamesLAT