A perfect storm of bad weather, bad news and baseball depressed syndicated ratings for the week ending Oct. 8, with average daytime viewers dropping by 108,000 households from the prior week.
A perfect storm of bad weather, bad news and baseball depressed syndicated ratings for the week ending Oct. 8, with average daytime broadcast viewers dropping by 108,000 households from the prior week.
The nation’s third-largest market, Chicago, was hit by the biggest storm in a decade, causing the city to lose power on Oct. 3, knocking out Nielsen’s systems. On the prior day, school shootings in Pennsylvania’s Amish country drove viewers to cable news channels. And finally, 10 divisional Major League Baseball playoff games caused numerous preemptions and strong competition to syndicated shows all across the country.
Even with all that, King World’s unflaggingly enthusiastic Rachael Ray continues to be the highest-rated first-run rookie, even though the show fell 5% for the week to a 2.0, according to Nielsen’s live-plus-same-day national household ratings. The show managed to win first or second in its time slot in 22 of the 55 metered markets, and hit its best numbers in seven major cities during the week.
Syndication’s second-highest rated newcomer, Twentieth’s Geraldo at Large, was down 13% to a 1.4. Twentieth’s rookie court entry, Cristina’s Court, was flat at a 1.3. Warner Bros.’ Dr. Keith Ablow was down 10% to a 0.9.
That rating ties Ablow with NBC Universal’s struggling Megan Mullally, which was up 13% on the week to a 0.9. This round of ratings does not incorporate Mullally’s time-period downgrades on WNBC New York, the No. 1 market, and Media General’s WCMH Columbus, the 32nd market.
In New York City, the show moved on Monday, Oct. 16, to 11 a.m. from 3 p.m., where Megan was replaced by CBS Paramount’s Judge Joe Brown. In her first two days of ratings in New York, Megan turned in a 1.0/4 household rating on Monday and a 0.4/2 on Tuesday. That marks a 50% decline from NBC Universal’s Martha at 10 a.m. Meanwhile, Judge Joe Brown held steady at a 1.2 on both days.
In Columbus, Mullally moved to 10 a.m. from 3 p.m., where it was replaced by CBS Paramount’s Montel Williams.
Finally, Sony’s two rookies—Greg Behrendt and Judge Maria Lopez—both were unchanged for the week at a 0.8.
Among the rookie off-net sitcoms, Buena Vista’s According to Jim topped the list at a 1.7, flat week to week. Buena Vista’s Scrubs fell 6% to a 1.5. Twentieth’s Still Standing stayed steady at a 1.4. And CBS Paramount’s One on One did not manage a 1, remaining unchanged at a 0.8.
On the weekend, King World’s CSI: Miami led the rookie weekly hours with a 4.6, up 5%. Warner Bros.’ Without a Trace was unchanged at a 2.7. Tribune’s American Idol Rewind fell 4% to a 2.6. Sony’s The Shield, off of News Corp.’s FX, was up 7% to a 1.6. CBS Paramount’s Star Trek: The Original Series was down 8% to a 1.2. New Line’s Masterminds, off of Court TV, was up 20% to a 0.6. And IMG’s Hip Hop Hold’em, which features hip-hop stars playing Texas Hold ‘Em, premiered at a 0.2, entering the list as syndication’s lowest-rated program out of of 124 nationally rated shows. The show is cleared in only 46% of the country.
Program Partners’ Stone Undercover averaged a 0.7 rating/2 share in the metered markets, down 36% from its lead-in and down 46% from its year-ago time-period average. Program Partners’ Cold Squad is averaging 0.6/2, down 25% from its lead-in and off 45% from its year-ago time period average. Nielsen does not nationally rate either show.
Among the veteran shows, very few saw year-to-year increases. Buena Vista’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire, which features newly-minted Today Show anchor Meredith Vieira doing double duty, showed the biggest yearly gain among all syndie vets and was the only game show to improve on the year. Millionaire jumped 11% to a 3.1, a 3% gain from the prior week, and the show’s best rating in nine weeks. Genre and syndication leader, King World’s Wheel of Fortune, at a 7.9 was up 1% for the week and down 1% for the year.
Among the magazines, which is the group with the strongest year-to year performance over the past two months, three shows gained. CBS Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight at a 5.1 held steady for the week and was up 2% for the year. King World’s Inside Edition at a 3.5 was up 3% for the week and 9% for the year. And NBCU’s Access Hollywood at a 2.6 was flat for the week and up 4% for the year.
All of the veteran talk shows were down from last year. King World’s Oprah, the top talker, averaged a 6.7, up 5% for the week but down 6% for the year.
Similiarly, all of the court shows were down from last year. CBS Paramount’s Judge Judy, the leader, was down 2% from last week to a 4.2, a 7% drop from last year.