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‘Oprah’ at High Mark

Mar 3, 2003  •  Post A Comment

As February sweeps continued to roll along, the talk show genre received the biggest boost for the week ending Feb. 16, according to Nielsen Media Research. Meanwhile, metered markets have wrapped up their sweeps and results show several rookies holding their own within the syndication ranks.
King World’s “The Oprah Winfrey Show” was up 15 percent for the week to a season high, fueled largely by a Feb. 10 episode featuring weight-loss stories that pulled an 8.4 rating. Buena Vista’s “Live With Regis and Kelly” enjoyed a similar spike, rising 10 percent to a season high of 4.3 and helped by a Feb. 12 appearance by “Joe Millionaire’s” Evan Marriott that scored a 4.6 rating.
The only other talk show to jump by double digits was Universal’s “Crossing Over With John Edward,” which was up 18 percent to a 1.3.
Second place within the genre went to King World’s “Dr. Phil,” which was down 6 percent for the week to a 5.1 rating. Universal’s “Maury” slipped 3 percent to a 3.3 score, while fellow Universal strip “Jerry Springer” was even at a 2.5. Sony’s “Ricki Lake” was unchanged at a 1.8, besting Telepictures’ “Jenny Jones,” which was down 6 percent to a 1.6.
Among the other rookies, NBC Enterprises’ “John Walsh Show” grew 7 percent week to week to a 1.5 rating, while “Caroline Rhea” was even at 1.0. Twentieth’s “Good Day Live” was even with a 0.9.
With their first metered market February sweeps numbers now available, two shows posted dramatic growth over last year’s time periods and two held their own. “Dr. Phil” completed its first sweeps with a 5.6 rating/14 share in 55 metered markets to provide his stations with an 87 percent gain in rating and 75 percent jump in share year to year. Buena Vista rookie “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” also showed time-period growth vs. February 2002 numbers with a 3.9 rating and 8 share. That equals a 26 percent spike in rating and a 33 percent rise in share.