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‘Live!’ still strong after Kathie Lee

Though Gifford gone, yakker trails only Oprah

In its first week sans Kathie Lee Gifford, “Live! With Regis” continued to post a healthy rating, despite dipping 29% from the previous week’s good-bye bonanza.

“Live!” earned a 4.2 national household rating for the week ending Aug. 6, according to Nielsen. That’s up 27% from the same week last year and enough to again place the yakker second to only “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in the talk category.

“Oprah” led with a 5.1 rating, down 16% from the previous week and just a tenth of a ratings point above its all-time low, which was reached in July.

“The Jerry Springer Show” maintained third, edging down 2% to 4.1, followed by “Maury,” which was down 8% to 3.7.

“The Montel Williams Show” was next, down 6% to 3.2, followed by “Sally Jessy Raphael,” down 6% to 3.1; “Jenny Jones,” down 10% to 2.7; and “Ricki Lake,” down 7% to 2.7.

“Rosie O’Donnell,” which is airing repeats, was in ninth place, turning in its all-time low rating (2.5).

Traditionally, “Rosie” has seen significant dips when in repeats. Some say a major reason is that the show is very topical, often featuring celebs promoting movies that are new when “Rosie” episodes first air, but are no longer top-of-mind when the shows repeat.

Elsewhere, syndies continued to suffer the summer blahs. The courtshows, for example, were down or even with the previous week.

And coverage of the Republican National Convention preempted and/or delayed many shows that air in access time periods. So the top off-net sitcoms, the top gamers and all of the magazines were down as well.

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