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Ratings: 'Oprah's Big Give' delivers season's third biggest new debut


By Christopher Rocchio, 03/03/2008 

Oprah's Big Give gave a big ratings gift to ABC last night.

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The Oprah Winfrey-produced reality competition series' premiere averaged 15.6 million total viewers and a 5.3/12 rating/share in the Adults 18-49 demographics during its Sunday at 9PM ET/PT time period, according to Live Plus Same Day ratings data from Nielsen Media Research.

Oprah's Big Give's premiere numbers make it the third-most-watched series debut of the 2007-2008 television season, behind only Fox's January 23 premiere of The Moment of Truth -- which had the benefit of American Idol as its lead-in -- and Fox's January 7 premiere of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which benefited from having the highly-rated NFC Conference Championship game as its lead-in.

Oprah's Big Give's premiere broadcast also won its regular Sunday night time slot, defeating its closest competition by almost 7% in total viewers (15.6 million vs. 8.7 million for Deal or No Deal on NBC) and by 36% among Adults 18-49 (5.3/12 rating/share vs. a 3.9/9 rating share for Family Guy and Unhitched on Fox).

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition averaged 14.8 million total viewers as Oprah's Big Give's 8PM ET/PT lead-in.  In addition, ABC's premiere of Here Come the Newlyweds averaged 10.3 million total viewers and a 4.1/11 rating/share among Adults 18-49 in in the 10PM ET/PT time period.

Similar to Oprah's Big Give, Here Come the Newlyweds' premiere broadcast won its regular Sunday night time period.  It bested its closest competition by almost 2.2 million total viewers (10.3 million vs. 8.1 million for NBC's repeat broadcast of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) and by 95% among Adults 18-49 (4.1/11 vs. 2.1/6 for Law & Order: SVU).

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