*Although Katie Couric led all freshman daytime talk shows in the ratings last week with an average of 2.5 million viewers a day (according to national ratings released Tuesday), the case can be made that it is standup comic, author, radio host and game show star Steve Harvey whose daytime career is catching on, notes The Hollywood Reporter.


Not only has Harvey’s new talk show proven a steady performer since its Sept. 4 premiere, (he averages 1.7 million viewers a day), but he has also seen a ratings lift on his other syndicated show, “Family Feud.”

Starting its 14th season, “Feud” ranks fourth among all first-run shows, trailing only “Judge Judy” (8.6 million viewers), “Wheel of Fortune” (5.9, 8.8 million viewers) and “Jeopardy” (4.8, 7 million viewers).

Feud ratings rose 50 percent from last season’s debut to a 3.9 in households. Among the key demo of women 25-54, Feud ratings jumped 46% to 1.9 to surpass Jeopardy (1.5) and tie Wheel of Fortune. Feud also is up 30% over its average rating last year of a 3.0.

Distributed by Lionsgate division Debmar-Mercury and produced by Fremantle Media North America, “Feud” ratings for its opening week are the best since the week of March 9, 1992. “Feud” has seen ratings gains ever since Harvey joined as host in September 2010.

Part of those increases  has to do with what Debmar-Mercury has done behind the scenes. They have swapped stations to improve the time periods where “Feud” airs, positioning it between 5 and 8 p.m. where big off-network series are shown and a few first run series have dominated for years.

From only a few stations in past years, “Feud” will air during the prime access period in 70 percent of its national lineup this season. It is already set to air at least through 2015.