“Dr. Oz” continued to tumble in the ratings race ahead of the show’s end date next month.
The daytime talker, which is ending Jan. 14 as its host Mehmet Oz prepares to run for Senator in Pennsylvania, posted a 0.5 rating for the week ended Dec. 12, which was down 17% from the week prior. Compared to last year at this time, “Dr. Oz” is down 29%, which is the biggest drop of any talk show in the top 14.
On Nov. 30, the cardiothoracic surgeon turned daytime-TV host formally announced that he’s entering the Republican primary field to replace the outgoing Sen. Pat Toomey. He becomes the latest TV or movie star to seek public office, following the likes of Ronald Reagan, Donald Trump, Al Franken, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Cynthia Nixon, the “Sex & the City” actress who unsuccessfully ran for New York governor.
On Dec. 1, “Dr. Oz” was dropped by Fox stations in Pennsylvania and New York City (which includes part of the Keystone State with its DMA). “Dr. Oz” was previously renewed through the 2022-23 season, which would have taken it well into any potential Senate career if Oz were to win next year.
Were the show to continue while Dr. Oz is running his campaign, those and other Pennsylvania stations that air his show would likely be subject to the FCC’s Equal Time rule. These rules stipulate that when any political candidate is given time on over-the-air broadcast stations, his or her political opponents can request that same amount of time (and usually in the same timeslot).
Essentially, that would mean Oz’s Senate competitors would be allowed to request the same amount of time on those stations. When Trump hosted “Saturday Night Live” during his candidacy in the fall of 2015, NBC was forced to give equal time in key primary states to any of his GOP competitors who requested it. (Four candidates — John Kasich, Mike Huckabee, Jim Gilmore and Lindsey Graham — wound up doing so.)
(Excerpt) Read more in: The Wrap