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Top Talkers, Magazines Survive Baseball Hit

Top talkers and magazines survived a ratings challenge from Major League Baseball playoff games during the week ending Oct. 12. The top five talkers showed significant growth over last year, while four of the top five magazines were up week to week.

King World Productions’ No. 1 talker, Oprah
, was up 20% year-to-year with a 6.6, up 6% from the prior week. King World’s Dr. Phil
was up 19% over last year with a 5.1 but down 2% versus the week before.

Buena Vista Television’s Live With Regis and Kelly
improved 9% with a 3.5, down 3% for the week. Universal Television’s Maury
gained 15% to 3.0, up 7% week-to-week. Universal’s The Jerry Springer Show
increased 18% to 2.6 and was up 8% compared with the prior week.

Warner Bros.’ The Sharon Osbourne Show --
which, so far, has been the leading first-run rookie -- ranked seventh among all 16 talk shows in its fourth week with a 1.5, up 7% from the prior week. Warner Bros.’ The Ellen DeGeneres Show
, unchanged at 1.3, tied for eighth place with Sony Pictures Television’s Ricki Lake
. Buena Vista’s Wayne Brady
and King World’s Living It Up! With Ali & Jack
were each unchanged at 1.0 and tied for 12th place with Twentieth Television’s Good Day Live

Paramount’s top magazine show, Entertainment Tonight
, gained 10% to 5.7, the show’s highest rating since last May but flat year-to-year. King World’s Inside Edition
was the only magazine to decline, slipping 3% to 3.3 but still up 3% year to year.

NBC Enterprises’ Access Hollywood
was up 7% to 2.9 in third place and up 12% from last year. Warner Bros.’ Extra
was up 4% to 2.4 but down 8% from last year. Celebrity Justice
was up 10% to 1.1 but down a hefty 21% from last year. NBC Enterprises’ rookie, Starting Over
, was unchanged at a 0.9.

Elsewhere, Warner Bros.’ The West Wing
, which had jumped into second place among all weekly hours in only its second week in syndication, slid 23% to 2.0 in its third week. That performance put the White House drama in a four-way tie for third place, along with Twentieth’s The Practice
, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.'s/NBC’s Stargate SG-1
and Tribune Entertainment’s Andromeda

The top weekly hour continued to be Paramount’s ET Weekend
, up 3% to 3.3, followed by Tribune’s Mutant X
, which fell 5% to 2.1 and held second place.

As for the other rookie weekly hours, Paramount’s Unexplained Mysteries
was down 6% to 1.5 in week three, Twentieth’s Angel
was unchanged at 1.4 in week three and Sony’s Walker, Texas Ranger
tumbled 25% to 1.2 in week four.

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.