Buena Vista gamer is most-improved, up 21% over last year and 6% from the week earlier.
In the week ending Oct. 22, Buena Vista’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire continued to win syndication’s most-improved award, achieving the most year-to-year growth of any strip in first-run for the third week in a row.
In its best showing yet, Millionaire was up 21% over last year to a 3.5, a 6% jump from the prior week and the show’s best rating since January, according to Nielsen Media Research’s live plus same day household ratings. Besides cashing in on host Meredith Vieira’s higher profile as the new anchor of The Today Show, the show also received several upgrades this season.
Among the rookie strips, King World’s Rachael Ray continues to lead the pack by a wide margin. The perky Ray was up 5% in households to a 2.1, which is more than 90% higher than the show’s nearest rookie rival.
Warner Bros.’ Dr. Keith Ablow has its best week yet, jumping 22% to a 1.1, with the show’s Oct. 17 interview with former Jon Benet Ramsey murder suspect John Mark Karr scoring a 1.2.
The show also is moving in two markets. In Washington, D.C., Ablow is switching from 4 p.m. on Fox-owned WDCA, a My Network TV affiliate, to 11 a.m. on Fox-owned WTTG. And in Norfolk, Va., the show was downgraded from 4 p.m. to 10 a.m. on New York Times-owned WTKR, a CBS affiliate.
Meanwhile, Sony’s Greg Behrendt was up 14% for the week to a 0.8, tying NBC Universal’s The Megan Mullally Show, which was unchanged.
Not one of the nine veteran talk shows were down for the week, with four moving up and five holding steady. King World’s Dr. Phil scored its highest rating in 20 weeks, hitting a 5.0, a 4% jump for the week and even with last year. Buena Vista’s Live with Regis and Kelly was up 3% for the week to a 3.4 and was the only talker to increase over last year, gaining 3%. CBS Paramount’s Montel Williams jumped 6% to a season high 1.8, and was unchanged for the year. NBCU’s The Jerry Springer also was up 6% to a season-high 1.7, marking a 21% increase over the last two weeks while Springer was Dancing with the Stars on ABC. The show still is down 11% from last year, but that’s a marked improvement from the show’s year-to-year performance in recent months.
King World’s Oprah, the talk leader, was unchanged for the week at a 6.7, and down 4% from last year. Oprah also hit her highest ratings of the young season with a 8.1 on Tuesday, Oct. 17, featuring the finale of “Oprah and Gayle’s Big Adventure,” in which Oprah Winfrey and her best friend, Gayle King, drove across the United States and fought over whether to sing along to the radio or sit in silence during the 3,000 mile trek.
NBCU’s Maury was unchanged at a 2.3 and down 12% from last year. Warner Bros.’ Ellen Degeneres, which is having a hard time competing against Oprah at 4 p.m. in many markets, was unchanged at a 2.0 and off 13% from last year. Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks and NBCU’s Martha, recently renewed for year three, tied at a 1.4. Both shows were unchanged for the week and down 13% for the year.
Among the magazines, Twentieth’s Geraldo at Large, in week six of its national roll-out, was up 15% to a 1.5, benefiting by not being preempted by Major League Baseball playoff games on the Fox stations, where it largely runs. Geraldo also is seeing growth on Fox-owned WNYW in New York, turning in its best performance ever at a 2.3/5 at 6:30 p.m., up against the three network newscasts. In fact, during that week Geraldo beat the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric in every key demographic and tied or beat the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams in most demographics.
CBS Paramount’s genre leader Entertainment Tonight turned in its highest ratings in 32 weeks, driven by coverage of Sir Paul McCartney’s divorce from Heather Mills. At a 5.4, ET was up 4% for the week and 8% for the year, the biggest yearly increase of any magazine. King World’s Inside Edition at a 3.6 was up 3% for the week and 6% from last year. CBS Paramount’s The Insider at a 2.7 was unchanged for the week and year. NBC U’s Access Hollywood also at a 2.7 jumped 4% for both the week and year. And Warner Bros.’ Extra! was down 5% for the week and 13% from last year.
Among court shows, the two rookies were unchanged for the week with Twentieth’s Cristina’s Court at a 1.4 and Sony’s Maria Lopez at a 0.9.
Among the veteran shows, only two were up over last year: Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis and Twentieth’s Judge Alex. CBS Paramount’s Judge Judy, the court leader, at a 4.5 was unchanged for the week and down 2% from last year. CBS Paramount’s Judge Joe Brown, which just reclaimed his 3 p.m. time slot on WNBC in New York, was up 7% to a season-high 2.9, although down 6% from last year. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was unchanged at a 2.6 and down 4% from last year. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis was unchanged at a 2.4 but up 14% from last year. Twentieth’s Divorce Court, which this season has lost many double-runs, was down 5% to a 2.0 and off 13% from last year. Judge Alex was up 5% both for the week and year to a 2.0. Sony’s Judge Hatchett was up 7% to a 1.5, although down 12% for the year.
The top game, King World’s Wheel of Fortune was up 2% to a season-high 8.4 and up 8% from last year. King World’s Jeopardy! was up 3% to a season-high 6.6 and up 6% from last year. Tribune’s Family Feud was up 6% to a 1.8 but down 5% from last year.
Buena Vista’s According to Jim continues to lead the rookie off-net sitcoms at a 1.8, unchanged for the week. Buena Vista’s Scrubs was up 13% for the week to a 1.7. Twentieth’s Still Standing was unchanged at a 1.5. And CBS Paramount’s One on One was unchanged at a 0.9.
Among the veteran off-net sitcoms, King World’s Everybody Loves Raymond was up 4% to a 5.2, down 12% for the year. Sony’s Seinfeld was up 13% to a 4.3, down 16% from last year. And Warner Bros.’ Friends at a 3.5 was reprocessed in the prior week but plunged 26% from last year.