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Syndie Insider - Broadcasting & Cable

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Olympics Fell Talk Shows

With the Olympics in full swing, most nationally syndicated shows did poorly for the week ended Aug. 22. Ratings were sharply lower for most daytime strips, although most of syndication was in reruns. Many shows on NBC stations were preempted altogether for 67 hours of non-prime time Olympics coverage. Those that aired encountered stronger-than-usual competition from NBC's Olympics-saturated cable networks.

Talkers were especially hard hit, with the top six down and four of those by double digits. King World's The Oprah Winfrey Show
fell 2% to 5.6. King World's Dr. Phil was off 18% to 3.3. Buena Vista's Live With Regis and Kelly fell 6%, also to 3.3. NBC Universal's Maury
was off 10% to 2.6; Paramount's Montel, 16% to 2.1; and NBC Universal's Jerry Springer, 14% to 1.9.

The only talk show above a 1.0 rating that managed to buck the slide was Warner Bros.'The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Despite 15 preemptions, Ellen was up 14% to 1.6, its highest rating in six weeks.

See Jane Drop

It's early, everyone keeps pointing out, but NBC Universal's The Jane Pauley Show got off to a mixed start. Day one's 2.4 rating/7 share in the metered markets (primary-run only) gave the show a 4% boost over the year-ago period but dropped 8% from its lead-in, which includes Today
and Live With Regis and Kelly. Still, it was the highest-rated syndie premiere since King World's Dr. Phil in 2002.

Day two was tougher, with the show declining 21% to a 1.9/6. That put Pauley
down 24% from its lead-in and 17% from its year-ago time-period average.

The story in the top three markets: In New York, the show was down 33% from a 2.1/6 Monday to a 1.4/4 Tuesday on WNBC at 11 a.m. In Los Angeles, on KNBC at 10 a.m., it was up a tick from a 1.0/3 to a 1.1/4. In Chicago, on WMAQ at noon, it dropped 40% from a 2.0/6 to a 1.2/3 on Tuesday.

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