Coverage of Michael Richards’ racial tirade and the Kelly Ripa/Clay Aiken controversy sent ratings for “The Insider” to its highest levels in 37 weeks, although many other syndication strips were sharply lower in the Thanksgiving holiday week ended Nov. 26.
Due to Nielsen breakouts for holiday programming and coverage losses, many shows were left with only three- or four-day averages for the week.
“The Insider” scored a 2.8 for the week, its best ratings since the March 6 frame. Skein was up 4% from its previous season high reached the week prior.
No. 1 newsmagazine “Entertainment Tonight” was up 2% to a 5.6, matching its previous season high. “ET” was also the only strip anywhere in firstrun syndication to see ratings growth over last year at this time, improving 2%.
On the other hand, “Inside Edition” was down 17% to a new season low of 2.9. “Access Hollywood,” in fourth place, was down 11% to a 2.5, while “Extra” fell 9% to a 2.1.
Among the 13 yakkers, only “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” hit a season high. “Ellen” was up 5% to a 2.2 thanks in part to a rare daytime talkshow appearance by Bill Clinton on Nov. 21. Visit from the former president sent ratings up 14% week to week to a 2.4, for the show’s biggest nonholiday episode of the season.
Top talker “The Oprah Winfrey Show” was down 13% to a 6.2, while No. 2 talker “Dr. Phil” at a 5.1 dipped 4%. “Live With Regis and Kelly” was unchanged at a 3.5, and “The Maury Povich Show” was up 4% to a 2.4.
All of the veteran talkers were down year to year, with “Oprah” and “The Montel Williams Show” suffering the biggest losses, 31% and 39%, respectively.
The show with the smallest decline was “Dr. Phil,” off just 4% from the year prior.
Among freshman talkers “Rachael Ray” was the champ for 10th week in a row. Show held steady at a 2.1 and outrated the second-best frosh yakkers by 163% as “The Greg Berhendt Show” and “The Megan Mullally Show” were unchanged at a 0.8.
Ratings for “The Dr. Keith Ablow Show” were unavailable.