Ratings hold steady for syndicated shows for the week ending Oct. 29, with Oprah, Geraldo, Lopez and Behrendt among those posting gains.
In the last week before the start of the November sweep, syndicated shows stayed steady, continuing a trend that dates back to May 2005.
Some West Coast early fringe and access time periods were affected by the last three World Series games during the week ended Oct. 29, while some daytime shows were preempted by President Bush’s Oct. 25 speech on Iraq.
Among the closely-watched rookie strips, Twentieth’s Geraldo at Large had a strong week, jumping 7% from the prior week to a 1.6 household rating, according to Nielsen’s live plus same day national household ratings. In the past two weeks, the show has gained 23%, partly due to fewer baseball-related preemptions on the Fox stations where the show is mainly cleared, and partly due to a strong performance in number-one market New York.
There, Geraldo jumped to a 2.2/4, a 38% increase over what Twentieth’s previous entry, A Current Affair, had been doing in the time period last year.
King World’s Rachael Ray continued to be syndication’s top rookie, maintaining its big lead over the rest of the class, despite a 5% dip to a 2.0.
Warner Bros.’ Dr. Keith Ablow came in a distant second, falling 9% for the week to a 1.0, after seeing a slight bump in the prior week due to a much-publicized interview with John Mark Karr, one-time suspect in the murder of child beauty queen Jon Benet Ramsey.
Sony’s Greg Behrendt moved into sole possession of third place at a 0.9, up 13%, while NBC Universal’s Megan Mullally was unchanged in fourth place with a 0.8.
Among the new court shows, Twentieth’s Cristina’s Court was unchanged at a 1.4, while Sony’s Judge Maria Lopez was up 11% to a 1.0.
Among the rookie off-net sitcoms, Buena Vista’s According to Jim was flat at a 1.8, followed by Buena Vista’s Scrubs, which dropped 6% to a 1.6. In third place, Twentieth’s Still Standing was unchanged for the week at a 1.5. At a 0.9, CBS Paramount’s One on One also was unchanged.
The weekly off-net rookie dramas were mostly higher. King World’s CSI: Miami gained 7% to a 4.8, Warner Bros.’ Without A Trace and Tribune’s American Idol: Rewind each jumped 12% to 2.8, and Idol’s number represents a new season high. Sony’s The Shield was up 7% to a 1.5, followed by CBS Paramount’s Star Trek: The Original Series, up 8% to a 1.3. New Line’s Masterminds was unchanged at a 0.7 and IMG’s Hip Hop Hold ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“Em was up 50% to a still weak 0.3.
Program Partners’ two Canadian imports, Cold Squad and Stone Undercover, each continued to underperform both their lead-ins and time-period averages.
Cold Squad averaged a 0.8 rating/2 share, down 20% from its lead-in and 27% from its year-ago time period average, while at a 0.7/2, Stone Undercover was off 22% from its average lead-in and 46% from its year-ago time period average.
Among the vets, all of the genre leaders were at or above their season highs, although none were up year to year. King World’s talk show leader, Oprah, hit a season high 6.9, up 3% for the week but still down 4% for the year.
For the first time this season, NBCU’s Jerry Springer jumped ahead of CBS Paramount’s Montel Williams and into sixth place. Springer, who seems to be experiencing a resurgence in popularity as a result of his appearances on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, held steady at a season-high 1.7, unchanged from the prior week, while Montel dropped 11% to a 1.6.
Among the court shows, CBS Paramount’s Judge Judy remained in front with a season-high 4.6, up 2% for the week and unchanged year to year. Of the seven court vets, only Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis was up from last year, gaining 9% to a 2.5.
Among the magazines, CBS Paramount’s long-standing leader, Entertainment Tonight, held steady at a 5.4, up 10% from last year. That marked the genre’s biggest year-to-year jump. On Oct. 23, ET had its best single-day showing of the season, hitting a 5.9 with coverage of country star Keith Urban’s entry into rehab only four months after marrying actress Nicole Kidman. The only other magazine up from last year was Warner Bros.’ Extra!, which improved 5% both year-to-year and week-to-week to a fifth-place 2.2.
Game shows were led by King World’s Wheel of Fortune, up 1% for the week to a season-high 8.5 and up 4% from last year. Two other games also were ahead of last year: King World’s Jeopardy! at a 6.7, also a season high, was up 2% for the week and 5% for the year. Buena Vista’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire, hosted by new Today Show anchor Meredith Vieira, fell a bit after being on a three-week roll: the show dropped 6% for the week to a 3.3, but was still up 10% for the year.