TALKERS WOUND UP

'Oprah' tops as guests give shows a boost

: With talkers bringing in the big guests for sweeps, the genre had a good run for the week ending Nov. 17, which overlaps with the third week of the November sweeps.

King World’s “Oprah,” whose guests included Barbra Streisand on Nov. 11, jumped 13% from an 8.5 rating to a 9.6 rating, according to Nielsen. Compared with last year, “Oprah” was up 14% to an 8.4 rating.

The next five talkers were separated by only two-tenths of a ratings point. “Montel Williams” finished second with a 10% jump from a 4.1 to a 4.5 rating, which was both a seasonal high and a 5% increase over the same week in 1995. Multimedia’s “Sally Jessy Raphael” (soon to be MCA’s talker) finished with a 4.4, which meant third place, even though it was a 5% leap from the previous week and a 10% gain from last year.

Tied for fourth with a 4.3 rating was “Jenny Jones,” which was up 2% to its best numbers of the year, although the show is off 12% from last year. “Rosie O’Donnell” also had a 4.3 rating, up 8% from the previous week and a 38% increase over its metered-market lead-ins. “Live With Regis & Kathie Lee” also added 8% for the week to finish with a 4.3, but that is off 9% from a 4.7 last year.

Paramount’s “Maury Povich” jumped 12% to finish with a 3.8 for the week, his best for the season but still off 7% from last year. Multimedia’s “Jerry Springer” jumped 11% to its season high of 3.0, which is also a 3% gain from last year. “Geraldo” was flat at 2.0, but dropped 23% from last year’s 2.6 rating.

Twentieth Television’s “Gordon Elliott” jumped 7% to a 1.6 rating, but was still off 24% from last year. King World’s “Rolonda” dropped 13% from a 1.5 rating to a 1.3 rating, off 19% from last year’s 1.6 rating.

In the freshman ranks, Warner Bros. “In Person With Maureen O’Boyle” upticked 8% to a 1.3 rating, but was off 17% from its metered-market lead-in. Multimedia’s “Pat Bullard” was flat with a 1.0 rating, but off 46% from its metered-market lead-in for the week.

In other first-run arenas, Paramount’s “Real TV” finished with a 2.9 rating. “Real TV,” which just was renewed by the New World stations, is up 38% from its premiere.

“Cops,” with 2.9, was up 7% for the week but off 26% from last year’s 3.9 rating. “Real Stories of the Highway Patrol” was up 6% to a 1.9 rating. Big Ticket Television’s “Judge Judy” was up 13% to a 1.7, a 21% gain over its premiere numbers. “LAPD’s” 1.3 rating was a 13% drop from the previous week and 41% from last year.

In the entertainment world, “Entertainment Tonight” finished with a 6.2 rating, off 3% for the week and 14% from a year ago. Freshman “Access Hollywood” was flat with a 3.2 rating.

Among the tabloids, “Inside Edition” dropped 2% to a 5.1 rating, off 14% from last year’s 5.9 rating. “Hard Copy” was up 2% to a 4.4 rating, although it is off 19% from last year. “Extra” was flat at 3.5 from last week but down 10% from a year ago. “American Journal” gained 3% to a 3.3 for the week, but also fell 8% from last year.

In the gameshow arena, “Wheel of Fortune” was up 4% to a 12.6, but was off 5% from last year’s 13.2 rating. “Jeopardy!” was up 10% for the week to a 10.7 rating, a 1% dip from last year. Freshman “Dating/Newlywed Hour was up 6% to a 1.9, its season high while “Bzzz” finished with a 1.6, off 11% from the previous week.

‘Home’ first

“Home Improvement” is in first in the off-network battles, gaining 10% from a 10.3 to an 11.3 for the week and an 18% gain over last year’s 9.6. “Seinfeld” jumped 3% to an 8.1, its season high and an 8% increase from last year. “The Simpsons” was flat at 7.0 for the week but up 3% compared with the same time a year ago. “Mad About You” fell 2% for the week to a 4.8 rating while “Martin” was flat with a 3.6 rating.

Among firstrun action hours, “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” finished with a 7.7 rating, a 54% gain from two weeks ago (the show’s ratings were reprocessed last week). Year-to-year, the sci-fi drama is flat.

“Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” gained 7% to a 6.1, flat from last year. “Xena: Warrior Princess” jumped 10% for the week to a 5.7 rating. “Baywatch” was fourth, losing 13% to a 4.2 which is off 22% from last year’s 5.4 rating.

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