No genre and few shows escaped holiday ratings doldrums. Season lows and double-digital declines from last year abounded.
Taking advantage of the Fourth of July lull, Warner Bros.’ Extra! beat NBC U’s Access Hollywood for the first time since last September, according to Nielsen’s live plus same day ratings. Extra!’s victory comes during one of the lowest-rated weeks of the year, with talk shows and sitcoms both seeing many season lows.
All five magazines, which is the only genre that had been holding its own in the summer months, fell to new season lows. Still, the top three—CBS Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight, King World’s Inside Edition and CBS Paramount’s The Insider—were off only slightly from last year. ET at a 4.1 was off 13% for the week, but only 2% from last year. Inside Edition at a season-low 2.9 was down 6%, but just 3% from last year. And ET spin-off The Insider was off 12% for the week, but only 4% from last year.
While Extra! hit a new season low of 1.8, falling 10% for the week and the year, NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood at a season-low 1.7 dropped even more, 23% for both the week and the year.
King World’s Oprah remained the top talker, but dropped to a new season low of 4.7, the show’s fourth new season low in the past five weeks. Oprah was down 10% from the prior week and 15% from the prior year. King World’s Dr. Phil also was way down, with a new season low of 3.9, a drop of 9% for the week and 11% for the year. Buena Vista’s Live with Regis and Kelly at a 3.1 was down 6% for the week and 9% for the year.
NBC Universal’s Maury at a 2.7 was up 4%, but down 7% from last year. NBC U’s Jerry Springer in fifth place was up 6% to a 1.9, but the show is still down 14% from last year. CBS Paramount’s Montel Williams had the biggest year-to-year decline of any talker, coming in at 1.7, down 11% from the prior week and 26% from the prior year. There was no rating this week for Warner Bros.’ Ellen Degeneres, because it was broken out on all five days of the week due to Wimbledon preemptions. Among the two rookies, Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks held steady at a 1.4. NBC U’s Martha, like Ellen, also had no rating after being broken out all five days of the July 4th week.
In access time periods, virtually all of the top shows fell. Among the off-net sitcoms, six out of the top seven hit new season lows. The one show that didn’t decline was Twentieth’s King of the Hill, in fifth place. The show was up 4% to a 2.6, although down 7% from last year.
King World’s Everybody Loves Raymond, the top sitcom, fell to a new low of 4.7, down 6% for the week and 11% from last year. Sony’s Seinfeld in second place had a new season low of 4.4, down 4% for the week and down 15% from last year. Warner Bros.’ Friends scored a 3.2, down 30% from last year. (Friends has been reprocessed for the past several weeks, so weekly comparison ratings are not available.) Carsey-Werner’s That 70s Show hit a new season low 3.0, down 6% for the week, but up 11% from last year, due to a run on FX.
Finally, games were down across the board. King World’s Wheel of Fortune at a 6.3, fell 9% for the week and 10% from last year. King World’s Jeopardy! at a 5.2 lost 7% for the week and 13% from last year. Buena Vista’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire dropped to a 2.7, losing 13% for the week and 10% for the year.