Uh Oh!!! This can’t be right… Oprah down by 32%… Somebody better call President Obama. In the first week of July, Oprah’s rating were taking a dive but that can’t be because everyone stop watching Oprah. There’s got to be an explanation with Michael’s Death taking over the tube, that probably is where the down fall came.
MEMO to Oprah Winfrey: Your slip is showing.
TV’s reigning queen is losing viewers at a rate that hasn’t been seen since “The Oprah Winfrey Show” was launched 23 years ago. Winfrey’s ratings for the July 4th week, released yesterday, were her lowest since 1983 — the latest in an alarming slide that’s been going on for the last five years.
The ratings for “Oprah” since 2004 are down by nearly a third, 32 percent, records show.
So, is TV’s biggest star losing her legendary mojo?
“There’s the fatigue factor,” says industry analyst Marc Berman of Mediaweek. “Oprah’s been on the air for over two decades.
“She can last for as long as she wants to last,” he believes. “But it gets to the point where fans might be getting a little tired of her show.”
Like most other daytime talk shows, “Oprah” is in repeats over the summer.
Traditionally, TV viewing is much lower over the summer — and that week, Oprah was competing against 24/7 Michael Jackson death coverage, Wimbledon tennis and the July 4th weekend.
But the unusual week cannot explain what seems to be happening — and what has the TV industry talking.
“This is not the first time in 23 years that ‘Oprah’ has been in repeats and not the first time it’s competed against Wimbledon,” says one knowledgeable industry source.
The audience for the show July 4th week averaged just over 4 million viewers — good enough to rank only No. 7 for week.
“Judge Judy,” which was also in repeats, was the No. 1 daytime show that week with 5.1 million viewers.
“The excuse that, ‘Well, it’s July 4th weekend and summer viewing,’ that’s all smoke,” said the insider.
The drop might be attributed to several factors.
“She’s got so many projects going on that it’s hard to focus as much attention on the talk show as it was in the past, when it was her only priority,” said the source.
Other have speculated that Oprah is seeing an “Obama Backlash” — a reaction against her public endorsement of Barack Obama’s presidential run and her active campaigning for him.
It’s not necessarily that people were against Obama, the theory goes. They just did not like the talk-show host taking sides in a political campaign — something she’d never done before. It took away the feeling fans had that somehow Oprah was above the fray.
“Oprah has seen dips in the past and bounced back after a bit of tinkering in the format,” the online trade publication Media Life noted yesterday in its story about the show’s horrible week. “It’s something all shows need, even ‘Oprah.’ ”
And Winfrey is still daytime’s dominant force –in a class by herself.
“Oprah is still, by and large, TV’s top talk show and the show itself is still healthy,” Berman says.
“She still owns bragging rights to the genre,” he said. “But she’s not the force she used to be.”
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