Ellen, Millionaire Score Best-Ever Marks

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Warner Bros.’ freshman The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Buena Vista’s sophomore Who Wants to Be a Millionaire had their best weeks ever in the week ended Jan. 25.

Ellen, the No. 1 new first-run strip this season, hit a 2.0 household rating for the first time, gaining 11%. That put it up 43% from its September premiere. Ellen also hit a new high in women 18-49, jumping 18% to a 1.3.

Among other rookies, Warner Bros.’ Sharon Osbourne, unchanged at a 1.3, held on to second place. Tribune is not renewing the show, and it won’t be back next season.

NBC Enterprises’ Starting Over, renewed for next year, rose 10% to a 1.1. Twentieth’s On Air With Ryan Seacrest in its second week on the national chart was unchanged at a 1.0 but up by double-digits across the board in key demos.

King World’s Living It Up! With Ali &Jack was unchanged at a 0.9.

Millionaire, the No. 3 game show, hit a 4.0 for the first time, climbing 3% from the week before and 11% from last year. King World’s Jeopardy, in second place among games, was up 4% week-to-week to a new season-high 8.1 and King World’s Wheel of Fortune, the game-show leader, was down 2% to a 9.7.

King World’s Dr. Phil was the only talk show in the top four to improve this week, gaining 4% to a 5.3 and scoring a rarity for a talk show, a triple-win in prime time. For the first time, on Jan. 23 Dr. Phil was number-one in all of its prime time slots in San Francisco, Phoenix and Jacksonville, averaging a 6.5/11 in the three markets.

King World’s Oprah, the talk-show leader, was unchanged at a 7.3, although the show is up 30% compared to last year at this time. Season-to-date, Oprah is up 16% in households, 27% in women 18-34, 18% in women 18-49 and 21% in women 25-54. In third place, Buena Vista’s Live With Regis & Kelly was unchanged at a 3.9, while Universal’s Maury was down 3% to a 3.0.

Among off-nets, Sony’s Seinfeld was the only sitcom to advance in the top-five, surging 11% to a new season-high 7.2. Warner Bros.’ Friends was unchanged at a 6.6. King World’s Everybody Loves Raymond fell 2% to a 5.9, while Carsey-Werner-Mandabach’s That 70s Show dropped 7% to a 4.0 and Warner Bros.’ Will & Grace slipped 3% to 3.6.

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