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“Dr. Oz” just hit a new low this season in syndicated TV ratings, averaging a 0.5 for the week ending Nov. 21, 2021.
That date is key here, because it means that number has nothing to do with the Thanksgiving holiday, and it predates host Mehmet Oz’s announcement that he is running for Senate.
The 0.5 rating represents a 17% decline from the prior week. The show’s average of 788,000 total viewers per episode that week placed “Dr. Oz” in 10th among the talk shows. For a tough comparison, “Dr. Phil,” which came in first place, averaged 2.663 million viewers per day that same week. Perhaps Phil McGraw should throw his (cowboy, probably) hat in the Pennsylvania ring.
On Tuesday morning, the cardiothoracic surgeon turned daytime-TV host formally announced that he’s entering the Republican primary field to replace the outgoing Sen. Pat Toomey. He becomes the latest TV or movie star to seek public office, following the likes of Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump, Al Franken, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Cynthia Nixon, the “Sex & the City” actress who unsuccessfully ran for New York governor.
It is not yet clear what Dr. Oz’s plans are for his syndicated talk show, now in its 13th season — although it may be a hint that he has replaced his show’s website with one for his campaign. “Dr. Oz” is currently renewed through the 2022-23 season, which would take it well into any potential Senate career if Oz were to win next year.
Discussions on how to move forward are currently ongoing between the show’s producers and its broadcast partners, an individual with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap. Fox-owned stations in Philadelphia and New York have already decided to pull “Dr. Oz,” a rep told TheWrap on Tuesday.
“Dr. Oz” mostly airs on Fox affiliated stations, including in Pennsylvania’s two most populous cities, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Were the show to continue while Dr. Oz is running his campaign, those and other Pennsylvania stations that air his show would likely be subject to the FCC’s Equal Time rule. These rules stipulate that when any political candidate is given time on over-the-air broadcast stations, his or her political opponents can request that same amount of time (and usually in the same timeslot).
Also of note for the week ending Nov. 21, “Wendy Williams” enjoyed a nice ratings boost (up 14% to a 0.8) from guest hosts including Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos.
“Dr. Phil” (1.9), “Ellen” (1.0) and “Live With Kelly & Ryan” (1.7) hit season highs. The week had network preemptions for coverage of the verdict in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial and for President Biden’s remarks on the infrastructure bill.