“Oprah” Finale Scores Best Ratings in 17 Years

By DANIEL MACHT
|  Friday, May 27, 2011  |  Updated 3:49 AM CDT
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May 25, 2011: After 25 seasons, The Oprah Winfrey Show is no more.

May 25, 2011: After 25 seasons, The Oprah Winfrey Show is no more.

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Looks like advertisers got their money’s worth with Oprah Winfrey’s finale.

The talk show queen’s official sendoff to “The Oprah Winfrey Show” Wednesday scored its highest audience in more than 17 years, The Associated Press reported.

Preliminary figures from The Nielsen Company gave the show a 13.3 household rating, its highest number since 1994.

New York Times media writer Brian Stelter explains that means 13.3 percent of all households with TV sets in major cities tuned into the broadcast – double the audience Winfrey has usually commanded on her final season after 25 years on the air.

A fuller accounting by Nielsen of how many eyeballs were glued to Winfrey’s goodbye won’t come out for two weeks, the AP reported.

Leading up to the big event, The Hollywood Reporter revealed 30-second spots would cost advertisers a cool $1 million.

Winfrey’s star-studded surprise farewell shows at Chicago’s United Center earlier this week scored a 10.2 rating for Monday’s broadcast and a 10.7 rating on Tuesday, according to Nielsen.

Winfrey has said she plans to commit herself full-time to running her Los Angeles-based OWN network.

Selected Reading: AP, NYT, Variety

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