Cojo's Got Ratings Mojo

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Red carpet fashion maven Steven Cojocaru has likely reaffirmed his value to Paramount as a viable candidate for his own syndicated series in fall 2006 with an appearance on Oprah.

Known as "Cojo," he has been in the headlines quite a bit lately.

First came the news that Paramount had to pull his planned talk show for this fall after news broke of his polycystic kidney disease. Next, he had his successful kidney transplant. Then came his firing by the Today show three weeks after undergoing his surgery. He characterized the firing to Oprah as being "dumped," "shot at the crack of dawn" and "left in the gutter" by the morning show.

The Oprah episode featuring Cojocaru garnered a 7.6 rating/19 share in the overnight markets, its highest numbers for original episodes all week (it averaged a 6.9/17 Monday, 7.2/18 Tuesday and 6.9/18 Wednesday). It was also way up over a rerun episode the previous week, giving Winfrey her best showing since the Presleys attracted a hefty 9.1/22 last month.

Cojocaru has a history of spiking the ratings during his appearances on Entertainment Tonight, The Insider and Today, which proved to be the initial impetus behind giving him a talk show.

The studio was forced to yank the project from the market on the eve of NATPE after he revealed his illness, putting it on the backburner during his recuperation.

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