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The Doctors Improve Health of 7 News

How important is a news lead-in? The 4 p.m. Monday premiere of "The Doctors" on Channel 7 generated a rating that helped 7 News get an unusually high and extremely competitive rating at 5 p.m.

In the last 15 minutes ending at 5 p.m., ''The Doctors" had a 5.2 rating, which was higher than the rating for "Oprah" (4.7) on Channel 4 and "Ellen" (2.7) on Channel 2.

Channel 2 started the 5 p.m. news with a 7.2 rating, with 7 News getting a 7.0 and Channel 4 a 6.3. In the next 15 minutes, Channel 4 gained a point to 7.3, while 7 News fell .6 to 6.4 and Channel 2 slipped 1.6 to 5.6.

Monday's success highlighted Channel 7's folly of carrying the low-rated "PM Buffalo" fat 4 p.m. for years and driving news viewers away. Of course, it is only one day. But if  "The Doctors" continue to draw viewers, they certainly will help the failing health of 7 News.

-- Alan Pergament

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