Syndicated Ratings: Insider Scores

Reports on ex-Seinfeld co-star Michael Richards' racist rant and the Kelly Ripa/Clay Aiken
spat helped push ratings for syndicated news mag The Insider to its highest level since
March while many other syndicated strips appeared to be on a tryptophan-induced lull in the
Thanksgiving holidy week ending November 26, 2006.

Aiken, subbing for Regis, rubbed Ripa the wrong way on Live with Briefly Clay and Kelly,
leading to something of an on-air spat that gained wider attention when Rosie O'Donnell
ripped Ripa for remarks she said were homophobic, a charge Ripa disputed.

Holiday programming-related loss of coverage left many shows with only three- or four-day
averages for the week. That didn't hurt Insider any, which had a three-day average of a 2.8
rating for the weeklet, it's best showing in 37 weeks and up 4% from its previous season
high of the week before.

ET, the top news mag seemingly in perpetuity, was up 2% to a 5.6, matching its previous
season high. It was the only strip in first run that was up--2%--over last year at this

On the downslope, Inside Edition, the second place mag, was off 17% to a 2.9. Access Hollywood, in fourth , was down 11% to a 2.5 and Extra was off 9% to a 2.1.

In the talk category, only Ellen Degereres could boast a season high, up 5% to a 2.2 in
fifth place.

That was primarily thanks to some help from high places--a rare daytime talk appearance by
former President Bill Clinton. His November 21 visit boosted ratings 14% from the week before
to a 2.4, its best outing for a non-holiday episode of the season.

Oprah led the talkers, although down 13% for the week to a season low 6.2. Dr. Phil was
down 4% to a 5.1. Live with Regis and Kelly was flat at a 3.5. Maury was up 4% to a 2.4.
All of the veteran talkers were down from the same week a year ago, with Oprah seing the
the biggest drop among top talkers, down 31%. Dr. Phil saw the least drop, down
4% from the same week last year.

Among rookie talkers, Rachael Ray continued to pick up eyeballs, up 12% in a little over a
month. Ray averaged a 2.1 in households, even with the week before. Greg Behrendt and Megan Mullally were both unchanged at an 0.8, while ratings were not available for Dr. Keith Ablow.

All the veteran court and game shows were flat or down compared with the week before, with
the exception of People's court, which was up 4% to a new season high 2.9, tied for second
place among judge shows with Judge Joe Brown for the first time this season. Compared to
last year, all of the court and game shows were down.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.