'Oprah' Ratings Continue to Plummet

Talker hits series low for third time in five weeks
Publish date:

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.