Lower ratings for Academy Awards was reflected in lower numbers for the syndicated access magazine shows.
The fate of the entertainment news magazines rested in the hands of Oscar during the week ending March 12, which included entertainment news magazines’ next-day coverage of the 78th Annual Academy Awards.
This year’s March 5 Oscar ceremony was the third-lowest rated in the show’s history, dropping 8% from the prior year. That drop was reflected almost exactly among the access mags. Comparing this year’s next-day coverage on March 6 to last year’s on Feb. 28, CBS Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight, the genre leader, dropped 10%, from a 7.0 to a 6.3; King World’s Inside Edition fell 5%, from a 4.0 to a 3.8; CBS Paramount’s The Insider dipped 6%, from a 3.3 to a 3.1; NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood tumbled 9%, from a 3.2 to a 2.9; and Warner Bros.’ Extra! slipped 7%, from a 2.8 to a 2.6.
Still, the Academy Awards gave the magazines momentum from week to week and year to year. ET led the pack with a 5.6 national household rating, according to Nielsen’s live plus same day ratings for the week. That’s a boost of 4% for the week and 2% over last year. Inside Edition averaged a 3.7 for the week, a jump of 3% for the week and even with last year. At a 2.9, The Insider held even with the prior week and increased 7% from last year. Access Hollywood was steady week to week at a 2.7, and up 8% from last year. And Warner Bros.’ Extra! held even for the week at a 2.4, up 9% over last year.
Other than the magazines, the rest of syndication declined slightly in the first full week following the end of the February sweep, as promotion came to a screeching halt and shows went into repeats.
The game shows all dropped by single digits, except Buena Vista’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire, which held steady at a 3.4 week to week and dipped just 3% from last year. The top game, King World’s Wheel of Fortune, was down 2% to a 9.0 and down 6% from last year. King World’s Jeopardy! dropped 1% to a 7.3 and lost 10% from last year. Tribune’s Family Feud dipped to a 2.1, down 5% from last week and last year.
In daytime, only two of 11 talk shows jumped from the prior week, with Buena Vista’s Live with Regis and Kelly the week’s biggest gainer. Live was up 6% to a 3.6, holding steady with last year. The show’s ratings gains were driven by a 3.8 on March 6, which featured an ice-skating performance and an interview with Skating with Celebrities champions (and scandalous couple of the moment), Kristy Swanson and Lloyd Eisler.
The only other talk show to improve was King World’s top talker, Oprah, up 4% both week to week and year to year to a 7.3. The No. 2 talk show, King World’s Dr. Phil, was down 4% to a 5.3 and down 12% from last year. NBC U’s Maury was unchanged at a 2.8, down 7% from last year. Warner Bros.’ Ellen rounded out the top-five with a 2.4, unchanged week to week, but still up 4% from last year.
Only one out of the seven court shows was higher this week, and that was Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis, which gained 4% to a 2.5, but dropped 4% from last year. Only one other court show was unchanged on the week—Warner Bros.’ People’s Court at a 2.9, although it was up 7% from last year. The other five, including CBS Paramount’s Judge Judy, the genre leader, were down slightly.