Springer slipping

Talker's numbers down 29% from last year

Studios USA execs who reaffirmed their belief in the controversial “Jerry Springer Show” earlier this week by taking it off the unofficial auction block were greeted with bad news from Nielsen, as the latest syndie numbers showed the punchless talker down 29% from last year’s rating.

The program has shown the most severe dip among veteran yakkers in a year-to-year comparison, landing a 5.2 rating for the week ending Aug. 1, well below last year’s red-hot 7.5 and down 2% from the week before. Still, the show held a firm grip on second place, behind King World’s “The Oprah Winfrey Show’s” 5.8, which was also down 5% from last year’s 6.1 rating.

The good news for Studios USA was a continued strong showing for “Maury,” which has kept a solid run this summer with a 3.8 rating for third place in the genre, down 3% from last week, but up a sharp 38% from the year before. “Maury” was the only veteran talkshow to show an increase in year-to-year comparisons. The studio’s “Sally Jessy Raphael” landed in fourth with a 3.6 rating, tying Warner Bros.’ “Jenny Jones Show,” and one-tenth of a point ahead of Columbia TriStar’s “Ricki Lake.”

Looking Rosier

Other talkers saw recoveries from all-time lows with Warner Bros.’ “Rosie O’Donnell Show” up 21% to a 3.4 from last week’s 2.8. King World’s “Roseanne” also jumped sharply with a 30% rise to a 1.3 rating.

Tops among the freshman yakkers continued to be the Mother Love-hosted “Forgive or Forget” with a 2.0, an 11% rise. The program has spent 25 consecutive weeks as the top rookie talkshow.

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