Most syndicated categories report lower viewing numbers, with sitcoms hit particularly hard.
After a lackluster May sweep, syndication ratings for the week ending June 4 dropped even lower, as is tradition for June, with average daytime broadcast viewing off by 92,000 households. While that’s a minor dip in the overall scheme of things, it’s an additional drop from the 2.25 million—or 12%—of households that fell off in May. The inclusion of Memorial Day on May 29 also likely had something to do with the overall declines.
Overall, good news was scant for the week, but an appearance by ex-Friend Jennifer Aniston made it a good week for Buena Vista’s Live with Regis and Kelly. Still, it was a mediocre week at best for most everyone else and a bad week for the off-net sitcoms, many of which hit season lows.
Morning talker Live with Regis and Kelly scored the biggest weekly increase among the 11 talk shows, jumping 9% from the prior week to a 3.5 household rating, the show’s highest ratings in 12 weeks, according to Nielsen’s live plus same day national ratings. While the show held steady year to year, it was up 40% among women 18-34 to a 1.4, up 33% among women 18-49 to a 2.0 and up 26% among women 25-54 to a 2.4. The increases can be attributed to Aniston, who showed up on the show’s Memorial Day broadcast to promote her new movie The Break Up. That episode alone hit a 3.9, representing a 22% increase from the prior week.
Meanwhile, things were not so cheery among the rest of the talkers. The top talk show, King World’s The Oprah Winfrey Show, fell to a 5.9, an 11% drop both week to week and year to year. King World’s Dr. Phil was down 7% to a 5.0, although up 2% from last year. NBC Universal’s Maury was unchanged week to week to a 2.5, but down 14% from last year. And Warner Bros.’ growing Ellen Degeneres was down 5% to a 2.1, but still up 5% over last year.
In a similar vein, there was nothing funny about the ratings for off-net sitcoms. Four of the top seven dropped to new season lows. King World’s leader, Everybody Loves Raymond, fell to its second new season low in the past two weeks, dropping to a 5.0. That was down 6% for the week and down 12% from last year. Sony’s Seinfeld, the No. 2 sitcom, also hit a season low at a 4.7, down 8% for the week and 15% from last year.
Sitcoms in places three, four and five managed to avoid scraping bottom. Warner Bros.’ Friends at a 4.2 was down 5% for the week and 9% from last year. Carsey-Werner’s That’70s Show at a 3.7 was unchanged for the week and up 28% from last year, due to adding a cable run on News Corp.-owned FX. Twentieth’s King of the Hill at a 2.6 was down 4% for the week and 13% for the year. Twentieth’s Malcolm in the Middle hit a new low of 2.3, down 12% for the week and 23% from last year. Sony’s King of Queens also dropped to a new season low of 2.2, down 4% for the week and 12% from a year ago.
On the other hand, the magazines held up. All of them either remained even with last year’s performance or were up over last year, despite small week-to-week declines for most. CBS Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight led the magazines with a 4.5, dipping 4% for the week but up 2% from last year. King World’s Inside Edition was down 3% on the week to a 3.2, although up 3% for the year. CBS Paramount’s The Insider remained in third with a 2.5, making it one of only two magazines not to decline week to week. The show held steady both for the week and the year.
Warner Bros.’ Extra!, in fifth place at a 2.1, also was even for the week and the year. NBCU’s Access Hollywood, in fourth place, fell 4% to a 2.4, although it was up 14% from the same week last year.
Among the court shows, CBS Paramount’s Judge Judy was down 2% for the week and 4% from last year to a 4.6. CBS Paramount’s Judge Joe Brown stayed in second at a 3.1, up 3% for the week but flat year to year.
King World’s Wheel of Fortune topped the games with a 7.1, down 5% for the week and 7% from last year. And King World’s Jeopardy! at a 5.8 was down 3% for the week and 11% from last year.