Talk shows experienced both the good and the bad of the holiday season for the week ending Dec. 24.
NBC Universal’s “Maury” hit a new ratings high while King World’s “The Oprah Winfrey Show” hit a season low for the second week in a row, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Overall among the talk show ranks, three shows were up week-to-week, seven tumbled and three held even in a week that often sees annual declines due to repeats and holiday activities that keep audiences away from the TV set.
Two shows moving in a positive direction were NBC Universal’s series “Maury” and “The Jerry Springer Show,” both hitting or matching their best rating numbers of the season. “Maury” grew 18 percent for the week to a new best-of-the-season 2.6 score, while “Springer” matched its best outing of the season with a 6 percent jump to a 1.8.
The other talk strip to move upward was Buena Vista’s “Live With Regis and Kelly,” growing 6 percent to a 3.6.
On the other side of the coin, “Oprah” hit its lowest number of the season for the second week in a row, falling 30 percent in the past three weeks to a 5.3 rating, less than a point ahead of spinoff “Dr. Phil.”
For the week, “Oprah” is off 12 percent. “Dr. Phil” continued its hold on second place in the genre despite slipping 2 percent to a 4.6. Warner Bros.’ “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” was down 5 percent to a 2.1, CBS’s “Montel Williams” slipped 6 percent to a 1.5, Warner’s “The Tyra Banks Show” fell 7 percent to a 1.4 score.
Rookies saw King World’s “Rachael Ray” continue to dominate the freshman competition, earning a 2.1 for the week but off 5 percent. Both “Dr. Keith Ablow” and “Greg Behrendt” held even with scores of 1.1 and 0.8, respectively. The just-canceled “Megan Mullally Show” slipped 11 percent to a 0.8 score.
Among the biggest movers in other genres: court show “The People’s Court” rose 8 percent to a 2.7; newsmagazines “Inside Edition” from King World and “Extra” from Warner Bros. grew 3 percent and 5 percent to ratings of 3.4 and 2.1, respectively; and “Wheel of Fortune,” the only game show to show any movement at all, dropped 2 percent to an 8.4.