Oprah's Ratings Soar In Season Debut
Defying analysts who said that her decision to support Barrack Obama for the presidency last year alienated core viewers, Oprah Winfrey launched her new season last week with a ratings leap of 39 percent. The Oprah Winfrey Show , which averaged 8.4 million viewers, also beat out the usual syndication winner, Wheel of Fortune in overall households (although it attracted fewer actual viewers). At the same time, the Oprah spin-off Dr. Oz debuted with the highest syndication ratings for any new show in three years, according to Nielsen Research. Several other daytime talk shows boasted hefty ratings increases, including Ellen (up 5 percent), Maury (13 percent), and Jerry Springer (9 percent).