Oprah Winfrey still has plenty of Nielsen firepower.
Monday's 24th season premiere of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" -- which featured a heavily hyped interview with Whitney Houston -- notched an 8.0 rating/12 share in Nielsen's metered market overnight ratings. That's the highest single-day rating for "Oprah" in nearly two years, and up a healthy 45 percent over last season's premiere.
Press reps for Winfrey's show note that "Oprah" scored well despite being delayed or pre-empted in nine major markets due to CBS's neverending coverage of the U.S. Open.
Update: here's Broadcasting & Cable's coverage with different numbers cited than the above:
CBS’ The Oprah Winfrey Show, syndication’s top talk show, had its biggest premiere in three seasons, opening season 24 on Monday at a 4.8/13, up 55% from last year’s 3.1/8, the show’s lowest-rated premiere ever. The premiere featured an exclusive interview with pop diva Whitney Houston.
This year’s premiere also beat 2007, when Oprah opened at a 4.6/12. Like all syndicated shows, Oprah’s ratings have dropped steadily in recent years. In 2004, the show premiered at a 7.3/21; in 2005, at a 6.4/16 and in 2006, at a 5.5/14.
CBS’ Dr. Phil had intended to premiere with a live episode shot in New York City, but decided to tape it and hold it for Tuesday because Dr. Phil was preempted in many markets for CBS’ coverage of the Men’s U.S. Open Tennis Finals from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET. A repeat episode averaged a 2.8/7.