It was a case of good news-bad news for Oprah Winfrey today when the ratings for the heavily hyped Monday edition of her syndicated show as well as last week’s ratings for her cable network OWN came in. The Monday episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, in which Oprah revealed that she has a half-sister, drew a 9.7 household rating/22 share in the metered markets, the show’s highest numbers in 6 years, since the after-Oscars broadcast on Feb. 28, 2005, which posted a 10.8/23.
Meanwhile, according to the basic cable ratings for last week released today, OWN’s ratings continued to slide in its third full week on the air. For the week of Jan. 17, OWN averaged 297,000 viewers in primetime, down 4% from the previous week. (The network launched on Jan. 1, with an average of 1.1 viewers in primetime for its debut weekend, then averaged 387,000 in its first full week.) OWN continues to trail all of its female-oriented cable competition, including Lifetime (817,000), Oxygen (547,000) and WE (322,000). The highest-rated OWN program was special Ask Oprah’s All Stars (539,000). Meanwhile, the daily talk show of Oprah’s best friend Gayle King, which airs daily in the morning, was once again at the bottom of the ratings, drawing between 105,000-148,000 from Monday-Friday, down from the week before. Despite the minuscule ratings, the show, a TV version of King’s daily radio show, is not necessarily in danger. During her session at TCA, Oprah said that on some shows, “even if (viewers) don’t respond, I will keep them. Because I can.”