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Oprah Finale Draws Biggest Audience Since 1994

And it's not the only TV finale drawing eyeballs this week
By Sarah Whitmire,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2011 1:33 PM CDT

(Newser) – It's starting to look like Americans haven't moved from the couch all week. Early numbers show yesterday's finale of The Oprah Winfrey Show drew the most viewers it has had in 17 years. The final episode—which featured no guests, but rather a personal conversation between Oprah, her studio audience ... and millions watching at home—garnered a 13.3 household rating in the nation's metered markets, according to Nielsen. The last time an Oprah episode had a number that high was back in February 1994—"People Shed Their Disguises" featured Oprah confronting guests about their questionable outward appearances.

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The metered market rating for Monday's surprise farewell episode of Oprah logged a 10.2, and Tuesday's episode got a 10.7. Other major draws: the finales of both American Idol and Dancing With the Stars. Idol's rating are particularly noteworthy as they show the first season-to-season growth in the number of finale watchers since 2008, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Total viewers were up 17% over 2010. Idol also bested the DWTS finale by 32%, but DWTS beat the next-to-last Idol episode. (Too much TV? Click to read about a US city that appears to be above it all.)

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