Oprah top talker


For the week ending July 7, Oprah remained atop the talkers, but with
her lowest rating ever at a 4.4, a 14 percent drop from the week before,
according to Nielsen Media Research.

The show's previous career low -- it debuted in 1986 -- was a 4.9.

Compared with the July 4 week last year, Oprah is down 15 percent.

She had company, however, with all but one talker, Live with Regis &
, down for the week.

Also hitting a new low this week was Martha Stewart Living, down 8
percent to a 1.1 and down 21 percent since the ImClone scandal hit the news
last month.

Living is also down 21 percent from last year at this time.

Usually, the July 4 holiday provides a boost to daytime shows, since more
people are home to watch. However, this year, some shows were pre-empted for news
coverage of the July 4 shootings at Los Angeles International Airport.

The Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament was carried on NBC stations, which also caused pre-emptions.
But there is Wimbledon this time each year, so that wouldn't explain
year-to-year drops.

Of the 10 veteran talkers, nine were down and one, Regis &
, was flat.

At No. 2 behind Oprah, Regis & Kelly recorded a 3.2, up 3
percent from last week.

In third was Maury at a 2.8, down 20 percent from the previous week
and down 10 percent year-to-year.

In court action, Judge Judy hit its lowest rating in four years, down
13 percent to a 4.6.

However, three court shows continued their strong showing from the previous
week, up despite pre-emptions.

Divorce Court was up 4 percent to a 2.8 and up 12 percent year-to-year.

Texas Justice, the top rookie, was up 10 percent to a 2.2.

Judge Hatchett was up 13 percent to a 1.7, but down 6 percent from last

Coming up strong this week were rookie dating shows, which mostly air in late-night time periods.

Elimidate equaled its season high, up 6 percent to a 1.7 and up 70
percent from its debut in September.

Fifth Wheel was up 7 percent to a 1.5 and up 50 percent from its debut.

Shipmates was unchanged at a 0.9, even with its debut.