The Truth About Television

Steve Battaglio, a senior correspondent at TV Guide, called in to talk about television ratings. The first show Howard mentioned was "Pepper Dennis," which Steve noted isn't a hit. Steve reported that the program has 3 to 4 million weekly viewers, a total that's only half of the audience of its lead-in, "The Gilmore Girls." After mentioning "The Apprentice" makes a good deal of its money through the products the show integrates into each episode, Steve said it's still successful and has already taped its sixth season. Steve added he's heard different theories about why Star Jones is leaving "The View" – including that her co-hosts don't like her and the program's audience doesn't trust her after she denied having surgery to lose weight – and that it's still doing "okay" in the ratings.

Steve then noted ratings for "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" have never been as high as "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" used to get right before it went off the air. Steve went on to report "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" are still hits, while "My Name is Earl," although not as big as NBC proclaims it to be, still gets 11 million viewers each week. Steve also pointed out numbers for "The Sopranos" are down significantly from its last season, but he thinks it's because there are so many HBO channels now, and it's hard to gauge how many people tune in every week because the program airs so often.