Arrest of John Mark Karr in decade-old murder case boosts magazine shows, but other genres remain in an August lull.
The syndicated magazines profited in the week ending Aug. 20 on the arrest of John Mark Karr as a suspect in the unsolved JonBenet Ramsey murder case. Four of the five magazines gained on both the year and the week, while the other genres remained stuck in summer doldrums.
CBS Paramount’s The Insider had the biggest gain, jumping 14% for the year and 4% for the week to a 2.5, according to Nielsen’s live plus same day household ratings. The Insider devoted an entire episode to the JonBenet case, which is only the second time that’s happened in The Insider’s short history. The first time was following the death of Christopher Reeve in 2004.
The genre leader, CBS Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight, at a 4.4 was up 5% for the week and 7% for the year. On Aug. 17, ET’s ratings jumped 14% to a weekly high of 4.8, as the show aired an interview with the sister of the late Patsy Ramsey. In second place, King World’s Inside Edition at a 3.3 was up 6% for the week and 10% from last year. NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood in fourth at a 2.2 was up 5% for the week and year. And Warner Bros.’ Extra!, which did not extensively cover the Ramsey story, was flat for the week and year at a 1.9.
Elsewhere, ratings were quiet. King World’s Oprah, the talk leader, at a 5.4 was up 2% for the week and down 10% from last year. King World’s Dr. Phil at 4.4 was flat for the week and down 2% from last year. Buena Vista’s Live with Regis and Kelly at a 3.2 was up 3% for the week, but down 6% from last year. NBCU’s Maury at a 2.6 was unchanged for the week but down 7% from last year. CBS Paramount’s Montel Williams and NBCU’s Jerry Springer tied at a 1.9. Both shows were up 6% for the week, while Montel was down 5% for the year and Springer dropped 14%. Warner Bros.’ Ellen Degeneres, recently renewed for three more years, at a 1.5 was down 6% for the week and year.
In the rookie race, Warner Bros.’ Tyra at a 1.4 once again beat NBCU’s Martha at a 1.2. Both shows were unchanged.
None of the court shows improved for the week and only Warner Bros.’ People’s Court jumped from last year.
The top court, CBS Paramount’s Judge Judy, at a 4.3 was down 7% for both the week and year. In second place, CBS Paramount’s Judge Joe Brown at a 2.9 was down 3% for the week and 6% for the year. People’s Court in third at a 2.6 was down 4% for the week but up 4% for the year. Twentieth’s Divorce Court at a 2.4 was flat on the week and down 8% from last year. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis at a 2.2 also was flat for the week and down 4% from last year. Twentieth’s rookie Judge Alex at a 1.8 fell 5%. Finally, Sony’s Judge Hatchett at a 1.7 slipped 6% for the week but was unchanged from last year.
King World’s Wheel of Fortune at a 6.8 stayed atop the games, but fell 3% for the week and 9% from last year. King World’s Jeopardy! at a 5.3 slipped 2% for the week and 12% for the year. Buena Vista’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire at a 2.9 was flat for the week and down 6% from last year. Tribune’s Family Feud at a 2.1 fell 5% for the week, but jumped 5% from last year.
Among the off-net sitcoms, King World’s Everybody Loves Raymond at a 5.0 was flat for the week, but down 15% from last year. Sony’s Seinfeld at a 4.6 gained 2% for the week but was also down 15% year to year. Warner Bros.’ Friends held on to third with a 3.8, up 6% for the week but continuing its year-to-year plunge, dropping 21%.