Regis Philbin's Final 'Live!' Hits Ratings High

Regis Philbin - Waves Goodbye - P – 2011
David Russell/ABC Domestic TV

Regis Philbin’s farewell week gave ABC’s Live! with Regis and Kelly a big ratings lift. Philbin’s final show last Friday scored a 7.3 household rating with 23 percent of homes using television’s tuned to Live!, according to preliminary metered-market numbers.

For comparison, that was lower than Oprah Winfrey’s final broadcast last May, which pulled in a 11.7 household rating with higher viewing levels overall at 4 p.m. when Oprah aired. 

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Philbin’s swan song– which included a celebrity packed audience, taped accolades from Justin Timberlake, Anne Hathaway and Emma Stone and a key to the city presented by New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg – was up 157 percent year-over-year.

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Many markets delivered over a ten rating including Milwaukee (10.8), Louisville (10.7), Atlanta (10.6), Detroit (10.5), and Buffalo (10.5) and Dayton rated a whopping 17.1.  

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The entire week of  Live! – which featured send-offs from special guests including Kathie Lee Gifford, Philbin’s co-host for 15 years, and David Letterman, who gave Philbin a kiss on the mouth – averaged a 4.6 household rating for an increase of 60 percent year-over-year.

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, final numbers will not be available until next week.