Viewing levels drop to the lowest in five weeks.
Syndies entered the all-important May sweeps with levels of people using television down another 600,000 viewers, the fifth drop in five weeks. As a result, ratings for syndicated shows were largely flat or down in the week ending April 30.
Warner Bros.’ rookie talker, Tyra Banks, had the biggest increase among all first-run strips, up 13% from the prior week to a 1.7, according to Nielsen’s live plus same day household ratings. That’s the show’s highest rating in five weeks, putting her ahead of rival rookie, NBC Universal’s Martha, unchanged at a 1.6. Youthful Tyra also has beat Martha among the key female demos (women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54) for the past 17 weeks in a row.
Besides Tyra, four other talk shows saw week-to-week gains, although all dropped versus their year-ago performances.
King World’s Oprah, the top talker, hit a 6.9, up 10% for the week but was down 7% versus last year at this time. CBS Paramount’s Dr. Phil at a 5.4, was up 6% for the week but down 5% for the year. NBC U’s Maury at a 2.6 was up 4% for the week, but down 10% for the year. Finally, NBCU’s Starting Over was up 10% to a 1.1 but down 8% for the year.
The other talk shows were all flat week to week, except NBCU’s Jerry Springer, which was down 6% for the week and 29% for the year to a 1.7 Springer celebrates its 3,000th episode on Thursday, May 11, and Friday, May 12.
The top four magazines all were up, apparently helped by coverage of the $100 million sexual harrassment lawsuit against Maury host Maury Povich.
CBS Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight was the No. 1 magazine by a wide margin, with its highest ratings since the week of March 27. The show averaged a 5.0, up 6% and flat year to year. King World’s Inside Edition was the only magazine to show an increase versus year-ago, averaging a 3.5, up 6% both week to week and year to year. CBS Paramount’s The Insider scored a 2.5, up 4%, for the week but down 4% versus last year. NBCU’s Access Hollywood tied for third, up 9% for the week and flat for the year. Finally, Warner Bros.’ Extra! was unchanged for the week and the year at a 2.1.
Both game and court shows were largely flat. The top three games—King World’s Wheel of Fortune, King World’s Jeopardy! and Buena Vista’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire—all were unchanged for the week, with Wheel at an 8.0, Jeopardy! at a 6.4 and Millionaire at a 3.2. All three were down for the year, with Wheel dropping 5%, Jeopardy! 12% and Millionaire 3%. Tribune’s Family Feud was down 9% for the week and 5% for the year to a 2.0.
Among the court shows, CBS Paramount’s Judge Judy at a 4.6 was flat for the week and down 8% for the year. CBS Paramount’s Judge Joe Brown at a 3.0 was up 3% for the week, but down 8% for the year. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was unchanged both for the week and the year at a 2.7. And the rookie gaveler, Twentieth’s Judge Alex, was unchanged at a 2.0.
In the first weekend of the sweep, the first-run weekly hours were mixed. CBS Paramount’s ET Weekend was the top-rated first-run weekly hour, up 11% for the week and 3% for the year to a 3.1. NBCU’s Access Hollywood Weekend and Warner Bros.’ Extra! Weekend each came in second at 1.5, unchanged for the week, but down 17% and 12% for the year, respectively.
King World’s CSI led the off-net weekly hours with a 5.2, up 11% for the week and flat for the year. In second, third and fourth places were rookie off-nets. Twentieth’s 24 came in a distant second, unchanged for the week at a 2.2. Buena Vista’s Alias was up 5% for the week at a 2.1. Finally, Program Partners’ Da Vinci’s Inquest was up 6% for the week, to a 1.8.