Viewing levels were down, but Geraldo gets some good numbers with its coverage of the O.J. Simpson TV and book brouhaha.
The two biggest factors affecting syndicated shows during the week ended Nov. 19 (the second full week of the November sweeps) were the storm of outrage over Fox’s planned O.J. Simpson special coupled with unusually nice weather over much of the country.
Geraldo At Large, which aired numerous reports blasting the now-canceled O.J. Simpson book and Fox TV special, hit its highest national rating ever while most other first-run strips were fairly quiet. Contributing to that quietness was the fact that the weather was unseasonably mild and viewing levels were down by more than 1.6 million viewers from the week before.
Out of the 13 first-run talk shows, there was only one—Martha—that posted a week-to-week improvement. It jumped 7% to a new season high rating of 1.5 and was up 20% among women 18-34. In addition, the show had its best week of the season among the 53 metered markets, averaging a 1.7/6.
Geraldo At Large had the biggest increase in household ratings—13%—of any first-run strip to a best-ever 1.7 and was also up across the board by double digits in all key female demos.
Among other newcomers, Rachael Ray, which has been the rookie champ for nine straight weeks, held steady at a 2.1 and defeated the next two freshmen talkers combined. Ray also had its best metered market average since its premiere week with a 2.5/8. In a distant second place was Dr. Keith Ablow at a 1.1, unchanged, followed by Greg Behrendt which dropped 11% to 0.8 and tied with Megan Mullally, which was unchanged at a 0.8.
In the sweeps period (Nov. 2-29), the metered market results, Dr. Phil was the only talk show that was up over last year. It averaged a 5.2/12 for its primary runs, a 4% increase over last November’s 5.0/12. In addition, Dr. Phil had the biggest increase over its average lead-in of any talk show, improving 93% from a 2.7/7.
Oprah was the top talk show in the metered markets, with a 7.2/17, down 10% from its year-ago time period, but up 76% from its average lead-in. In third place, Live with Regis & Kelly averaged a 3.6/12 which was off 8% from last year, but even with its lead-ins. Ellen Degeneres came up with a 2.5/7, off 14% from last year, but up 9% from its average lead-in. Maury rounded out the top five veteran talk shows with a 1.9/6 which was even with last year and up 36% from its lead-in.
Elsewhere in daytime, Christina’s Court topped the new court shows with a 1.4, up 8% from the prior week. Judge Maria Lopez, which was recently renewed for a second season, was unchanged at a 0.9.
Most of the veteran court, game and magazine shows had little movement. Among the court shows, Judge Judy led the way with a 4.8, unchanged both week-to-week and year-to-year. There were two court shows that hit new season highs: Judge Mathis, which had a fourth-place 2.6, up 4% from the prior week and even with last week; and Judge Alex, which got a 2.1, up 5% for the week and down 9% from last year.
Among the game shows, Wheel of Fortune was No. 1 at a 9.0, a new season high, up 2% for the week and up 6% from last year. One other gamer—No. 2-ranked Jeopardy!—also hit a new season high, a 7.2, up 3%.
Among the magazines, Entertainment Tonight was No. 1 with a 5.5, off 2% from its season high hit the week before and even with last year. Access Hollywood hit a season high 2.8, up 8% both week-to-week and year-to-year.