Shows get stronger-than-usual competition from the cable news networks which posted gains of 4% to 36% from the prior week on news that the British police had thwarted a major terror attack.
Syndication was mostly stable in the week ending Aug. 13. Overall, broadcast viewing was down by an average 344,000 households from the prior week, as summer comes to a close and families prepare to send kids back to school.
In addition to the decline in broadcast viewing, the cable news networks were stronger-than-usual competitors, posting gains of 4% to 36% from the prior week on news that the British police had thwarted a major terror attack.
In daytime, five of the top six talk shows moved lower. Talk leader, King World’s Oprah, bucked the trend, managing to gain 2% on the week to a 5.3 national household rating, according to Nielsen’s live-plus-same-day ratings. Still, the show dropped 5% from last year. Inversely, King World’s Dr. Phil was down 2% for the week to a 4.4, but up 5% from last year. Buena Vista’s Live with Regis and Kelly, which is preparing to unveil a new Web site, was down 3% for the week to a 3.1, an 11% drop from last year.
Maury, Jerry and Montel all continued to struggle year-to-year. NBC Universal’s Maury was down 7% to a 2.6, and down 16% from last year. CBS Paramount’s Montel and NBCU’s Jerry Springer tied at a 1.8. Both shows were down 5% for the week. Montel dropped 14% for the year, and Springer fell 18%.
Warner Bros.’ Ellen, still in repeats like most of the talk shows, was unchanged for the week and year at a 1.6. Ellen was recently renewed by the NBC station group for three more years, and is preparing for fall upgrades in 20-plus markets that should give the show a ratings bump in its fourth season.
Among the rookie talkers, Warner Bros.’ Tyra at a 1.4 again outshone NBCU’s Martha at a 1.2, completing 10 consecutive weekly victories over the domestic doyenne. Both shows were unchanged for the week.
It was all quiet in the court, as most held steady for the week. The leader, CBS Paramount’s Judge Judy, was unchanged at a 4.6, and down 2% from last year. CBS Paramount’s Judge Joe Brown also was unchanged at a 3.0 and fell 3% from last year. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court also was unchanged at a 2.7, but up 4% from last year. Twentieth’s Divorce Court was down 8% to a 2.4, and also down 8% from last year. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis lost 4% to a 2.2 and dropped 8% from last year. Twentieth’s rookie, Judge Alex, was down 5% to a 1.9. And finally, although Sony’s Judge Hatchett was the lowest-rated court show, it was the only one to improve on the week. Coming off a season low, Hatchett gained 13% to a 1.8, up 6% from last year.
All the magazines were lower for the week, without a big celebrity story like Mel Gibson’s drunk-driving arrest to propel them. CBS Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight was the No. 1 magazine despite being preempted in 16 of the 30 markets for pre-season NFL football. ET dropped 9% for the week to a 4.2, and but held steady for the year. None of the other magazines faced significant preemptions. King World’s Inside Edition fell 11% to a 3.1, up 7% from last year. CBS Paramount’s The Insider was down 4% to a 2.4, but up 4% for the year. The magazines were the only genre where the top-three shows were up or even with last year.
In fourth place, NBCU’s Access Hollywood at a 2.1 was down 5% for the week and year. Warner Bros.’ Extra!, which nearly tied Access in the prior week, fell to a 1.9, off 10% for the week and year.
Among the games, King World’s Wheel of Fortune was down 1% to a 7.0 and down 5% from last year. King World’s Jeopardy! was flat at a 5.4, and down 7% from last year. Buena Vista’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire lost 9% to a 2.9 and was unchanged from last year. Tribune’s Family Feud was unchanged at a 2.2 and up 5% from last year.
Among the off-net sitcoms, King World’s Everybody Loves Raymond at a 5.0 was down 4% on the week and 9% from last year. Sony’s Seinfeld at a 4.5 was down 2% for the week and 17% from last year. And Warner Bros.’ Friends continued to struggle year to year, unchanged for the week at a 3.6 but down 27% from last year.
Finally, MGM’s Stargate SG-1, a weekend hour that is going out of production after 10 years on the air, averaged a 1.3, flat for the week but down 32% from last year.