EVEN OLYMPICS CAN’T GET SYNDIES DOWN
The Winter Olympics from Turin, Italy, hasn’t been the weapon of mass destruction in primetime that NBC hoped it would be. And that’s been true in syndication as well.
The Olympics Zone—a network- and locally-produced magazine show for NBC O&Os and affiliates—started in many markets on Feb. 8, preempting syndicated magazine shows across the country. Still, most of the syndie mags were up for the week, boosted by next-day coverage of the Grammy Awards.
CBS Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight hit a new season high in the week ending Feb. 12, topping the genre with a 5.7 national household rating. That’s up 6% from the prior week and up 2% over last year, according to Nielsen’s Live Plus Same Day ratings. That’s despite being preempted by Olympics in three of the top 20 markets for most of the week. And for its Feb. 9 Grammy coverage alone, ET hit a season-high 6.3.
King World’s Inside Edition was up 6% to a 3.8, unchanged from last year, even though it lost a few stations out of the top 50 markets on several days that week. CBS Paramount’s The Insider, in third place, was up 7% to a 3.0 and up 7% over last year, despite not airing in six metered markets for part of the week. The Insider’s Grammy coverage was its top-rated show of the week, earning a 3.4.
NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood, which also was preempted in at least eight of the top 30 markets, was down 7% to a 2.6, even with last year. Access earned a 2.5 for its Grammy coverage, but its best day came on Monday, Feb. 6, when it scored a 3.1 before running into Olympic preemptions.
Warner Bros.’ Extra! was the most preempted access show of all, losing almost one-third of its metered markets, including New York and Los Angeles. In fact, the show was broken out from the ratings for three of the five days. As a result, Extra! did well to hold steady with the prior week at a 2.4, gaining 4% from year to year.
Elsewhere, the talk shows were barely affected by the Olympics. None of the 11 talkers declined from the prior week. In fact, King World’s Dr. Phil and NBC Universal’s Starting Over were able to match or exceed their highest ratings of the season.
Dr. Phil was up 5% to a new season high 5.8 and up 4% from last year. And Starting Over, despite running into some Olympic preemptions, was up 9% from the previous week to a 1.2, tying its season high, but dipping 8% from last year.
King World’s The Oprah Winfrey Show, the top talker, was up 3% to a 7.8, although down 7% from last year. Buena Vista’s Live with Regis and Kelly hit its highest ratings in seven weeks of 3.7 and was up 9% for the week and was even with last year. NBC U’s Maury was unchanged at a 3.0 and down 9% from last year, while Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres, which had a slew of Olympic preemptions and was broken out completely on Friday, managed to hold steady for the week and gain 13% from last year, the biggest year-to-year improvement of any talker this week.
Among the rookies, NBC U’s Martha was up 6% to a 1.8, while Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks actually scored the biggest week-to-week increase of any show in daytime, a 13% improvement to a 1.7.
Most of the top court shows continued to show year-to-year erosion. CBS Paramount’s Judge Judy was flat at a 5.1 and down 6% from last year. CBS Paramount’s Judge Joe Brown was up 3% to a 3.3, but down 11% from last year. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was flat at a 2.9 and up 7% from last year. Twentieth’s Divorce Court was up 4% to a 2.7, but down 7% year to year, and Twentieth’s rookie Judge Alex was up 5% to a 2.3.
The top two game shows were slightly lower, with King World’s Wheel of Fortune, down 2% to an 8.9, falling 8% from last year. The number-two show, Jeopardy! dipped 1% to a 7.3 and slipped 11% from a year ago.
Among the off-net sitcoms, King World’s Everybody Loves Raymond was down 3% to a 6.5 and off 11% from last year, while Sony’s Seinfeld, in second place, was unchanged at a 6.0, and down 6% year to year.