'Oprah' Ratings Continue to Plummet

Talker hits series low for third time in five weeks

Oprah is having one tough summer.

In the week ending July 18, CBS Television
Distribution's The Oprah Winfrey Show sunk to an all-time ratings
low for the third time in five weeks, dropping 13% from the prior week to a 2.8
live plus same day household average, according to Nielsen Media Research. That
almost moved Oprah out of syndie's top-ten, tying for overall
ninth place with CTD's Inside Edition and reruns of the off-net
hour CSI: New York. Compared to last year at this time, Oprah is
down 20%.

That said, Oprah, which was in repeats all week
except for Monday, remained the top talker for the 585th week in a
row, according to CTD.

Meanwhile, the fortunes of access magazines rose while those
of actor Mel Gibson fell, as recordings of him hurling profanities and threats
at his ex-girlfriend spread across the Internet.

CTD's Entertainment Tonight led the magazine
race, gaining 3% to a 3.7. In second place, CTD's Inside Edition
added 4% to a 2.8. NBCU's Access Hollywood and Warner Bros.'
TMZ were unchanged at a 1.9 and 1.8, respectively. CTDs' The
jumped 7% to a 1.6, tying Warner Bros.' Extra, which
was flat.

Also in access, four of the five game shows were flat, with
CTD's Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!,
Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud and Twentieth's Are You
Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?
all staying put at  5.8, 5.0, 1.5 and 1.2,
respectively. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire was the
only game show to gain, moving up 5% to a 2.3.

Warner Bros.' sitcom leader, Two and Half Men,
hit its season low, dropping 2% to a 4.1. The rest of the field was mixed.
Twentieth's Family Guy grew 7% to a 3.1. CTD's Everybody
Loves Raymond
rallied 3% to a 3.0. Sony's Seinfeld stayed at a
2.5. Warner Bros.' George Lopez lost 4% to a 2.4.
Twentieth's King of the Hill climbed 5% to a 2.3. Warner
Bros.' Friends added 5% to a 2.0. Debmar-Mercury's House
of Payne
picked up 7% to a 1.5. CTD's Frasier fell 7% to a
1.4. Sony's King of Queens slid 7% to a new season low 1.3.

Among rookie off-net sitcoms, NBCU's The Office
was boss with a 2.5, down 4% in households but remaining syndication's
top show among women 18-34, tied with Twentieth's Family Guy at a
2.4 in the demo. CTD's Everybody Hates Chris and Twentieth's
My Name is Earl were each unchanged at a 1.6 and 1.5, respectively.

CTD's Judge Judy was the daytime leader for the
16th time in 18 weeks, holding steady at a 4.3 and growing 16% from
last year. Runner-up Judge Joe Brown eased 5% to a 2.0. Warner
Bros.' People's Court also fell 5% to a 1.9. Warner
Bros.' Judge Mathis was unchanged at a 1.7. Twentieth's Judge
gained 8% to a 1.4. Twentieth's Divorce Court and Warner
Bros.' Judge Jeannine Pirro each were flat at a 1.3 and 1.1,
respectively. Litton's Street Court, which goes off the air this
fall, jumped 20% to a 0.6.

The rest of talk was mostly flat or down. Disney-ABC's
Live with Regis and Kelly was unchanged at a 2.3. NBC Universal's Maury
slipped 5% to a 2.1, tying Sony's Dr. Oz, which was flat at a 2.1.
CTD's Dr. Phil went from all-originals to all-repeats and fell 14%
to a new season low 1.9. Warner Bros.' Ellen was unchanged at a
1.6. CTD's The Doctors dipped 6% to a 1.5. CTD's Rachael
, Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos all were flat at a 1.4,
1.4, 1.3, respectively. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams ducked the
trend and gained 10% to a 1.1. Warner Bros.' Bonnie Hunt, nearing
the end of its run, sank 14% to a 0.6. NBC U's Martha, which moves
to cable this fall, was unchanged at a 0.5.