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Dr. Phil takes a tiny tumble

10/20/2002 08:00:00 PM Eastern

Dr. Phil
is still showing strong numbers and remains the No. 2 syndicated talker behind The Oprah Winfrey Show, but the show has seen slight ratings slippage since its strong debut, according to national Nielsen numbers for the week ended Oct. 6.

In its third week out, Dr. Phil
posted a 4.1 rating, down 2% from its second week, in which Dr. Phil
scored a 4.2. The show, distributed by King World and produced by Paramount, debuted with a 5.2 rating/16 share on Sept. 16, according to Nielsen monitoring of metered markets.

The show also is seeing declining numbers in key female demographics. It is down 15%, to 2.9, among women 25-54: 17%, to a 2.4, among women 18-49; and 32%, to a 1.7, among women 18-34. It is up 2% among women 55 and older, hitting a 5.4.

Still, Dr. Phil's numbers are far above any other rookie talker's, with NBC Enterprises'The John Walsh Show
averaging a 1.2, Warner Bros.' The Caroline Rhea Show
holding steady at a 1.1, Tribune's Beyond With James Van Praagh
and Twentieth's The Rob Nelson Show
both at a 0.9.

And ratings fluctuate, points out Roger King, CEO of CBS Enterprises and King World Productions Inc.: "There's been no significant drop in any audience."

The end of daylight savings time also should bring more viewers to their televisions earlier in the day.

Moreover, last week, Dr. Phil
received upgrades in three markets: Baltimore, West Palm Beach, Fla., and Indianapolis.

Last Monday, Hearst-Argyle's WBAL-TV Baltimore moved Universal's Jerry Springer
to 11 a.m. to make room for Dr. Phil
at 3 p.m., improving its ratings by 8% and share by 9%. Springer
had been delivering a 3.9/11 in the afternoon; in its first two days in the slot, Dr. Phil
turned in a 4.2/12 and a 4.4/12. Even though Springer
is airing at a different time, WBAL-TV had re-upped the show for next season before the move, Universal says.

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