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Gifford farewell brings record ratings to ‘Live!’

Show improves on previous week by 64%, yakkers up overall

National ratings for Kathie Lee Gifford’s final week as co-host of longtime Buena Vista strip “Live With Regis and Kathie Lee” are the best ever for the show on several counts.

“Live” — for now dubbed “Live With Regis” until a replacement for Gifford is found — earned an average 5.9 national household rating for the week ended July 30, according to Nielsen. Perf is up 64% from the previous week and up 90% from the same week the previous year.

Gifford’s last day, July 28, averaged a 9.1.

Show beat out all other syndie talkshow competitors nationally that week except “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which topped the genre at 6.1. “Live” did, however, edge out “Oprah” in the women 55 and over demo, in which it earned a 7.4 rating to “Oprah’s” 6.9.

In women 18-49, “Live!” turned in a 3.1, and in women 25-54, it earned a 3.7.

Upbeat week

Overall, the week was good for yakkers. “Jerry Springer Show” followed “Live” with a 4.2, up 5% from the previous week. “Maury” edged down 2% from its second place finish the previous week to 4.0 and was followed by “The Montel Williams Show,” which was up 13% to 3.4.

“Sally Jessy Raphael” was next, slipping 3% to 3.3, followed by “Jenny Jones,” up 7% to 3.0. “Ricki Lake” moved up 4% to 2.9, and “Rosie O’Donnell” was up 4% to 2.8.

Daytime lifestyle show “Martha Stewart Living” was even with the previous week at 1.6, and the one frosh yakker set for a second season this fall, “Queen Latifah,” was up 8% to 1.3.

There was little movement among the gavelers, with “Judge Judy” again leading the batch, moving down 1% to 6.6.

Other category leaders include “Friends,” which topped off-net sitcoms, up 2% to 5.6; “Entertainment Tonight,” which led the magazines, flat at 5.5; “Wheel of Fortune,” which led not only the gamers but all syndie shows, up 4% to 9.5; and “The X-Files” and “ER,” which tied at the top of the weekly race, at 3.7 each.

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