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Kelly Clarkson's new talk show is a success. This is why this is such a big deal



Kellyoke's covers include Lizzo's "Juice," Aretha Franklin's "Think," One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful," among others. When the performance ends, the singing changes to the conversation, with Clarkson interviewing a guest panel that includes a mix of celebrities and ordinary people. The American Idol star uses stories and humor to engage with her audience, covering topics ranging from relationships to student loan debt.

It's hard to figure out if "The Kelly Clarkson Show" is a daytime variety show or daytime talk show. Whatever it is, it's working with the viewers.

Since its debut last month, the show has averaged 1.9 million viewers per episode. That's good enough to put Clarkson in fourth place among unionized daytime talk shows, according to Nielsen data.

Fourth place may not sound like much, but the program, which is hosted by NBCUniversal Television, is just behind the programs that have been running for years. This includes "Ellen", "Live with Kelly and Ryan" and "Dr. Phil", who led the conversations during the day with an average of about 3.1 million viewers per episode. So far this season.

Clarkson also outperforms other daytime shows including "Maury", "Dr. Oz" and "Rachael Ray". "The Kelly Clarkson Show" is bringing higher ratings than another daytime newcomer, Tamron Hall.

"I think the world is craving stories with humor, heart and everyday heroes they can relate to," Clarkson told CNN Business by email. "I love hosting a fun and inclusive show … Whether you are a guest of the show or a member of the audience watching, I want everyone to feel welcome and know that they are important."

Bill Carroll, a media consultant who has spent more than 30 years analyzing Katz Television Group's syndicated programming, told CNN Business that daytime television doesn't have a program that has been "so successful in several years."

"At a time when daytime broadcast programming is competing with cable, streaming and on demand, this is a special and unique situation," Carroll said. "Clarkson is fourth is remarkable in that the program has made a breakthrough."

Carroll also pointed out that Clarkson's ratings are significant because it is "almost impossible to succeed" on daytime television.

Other popular musicians like Harry Connick Jr. and Queen Latifah tried their hands during the day and failed. Even veteran interviewers like Meredith Vieria struggled to find an audience for The Meredith Vieira Show.
It's even more impressive, as free TV has been fighting so far this season. The ratings of the premiere week declined and affected even hit shows such as NBC's drama "This Is Us" and late-night TV.
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So why was Clarkson a hit with the public when so many others failed? Carroll believes it has something to do with the "authenticity" of the host.

"She's a fan of the people on the show, as are the viewers at home," said Carroll. He compares Clarkson to another celebrity who has had his own show for six seasons: Rosie O'Donnell.

"Rosie was excited to have guests for the show. She was interested in what they had to say and enjoyed the whole experience," Carroll said. "That's what comes up with Kelly Clarkson."

Nor does it detract from the show's popularity that Clarkson has name recognition as a pop star. She coaches the NBC singing competition "The Voice" and was the first winner of "American Idol", Carroll pointed out.

It's still early, but if "The Kelly Clarkson Show" is able to keep up its numbers, it could be a "long-term success," Carroll said.

"And long-term distribution success is why Ellen has many homes and Oprah owns the world," he added.


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