In a fairly lackluster week after Christmas, TV's latest version of the Bickersons drives up viewing for magazine shows.

The Rosie O’Donnell-Donald Trump feud sent all the magazine shows up during the week ending Jan. 7, especially CBS Television Distribution’s Entertainment Tonight, which scored the biggest increase of any strip of any kind in syndication.

Also getting a rating raise from Trump were CBS Television Distribution’s Inside Edition, which was up 9% to 3.6; NBCU’s Access Hollywood, which gained 4% to a 2.7; CBS Television Distribution’s The Insider, which was up 8% to a 2.6; and Warner Bros.’ Extra!, which climbed 10% to a 2.2.

Ratings for magazine leader ET jumped 17% from the week before to a 5.5, giving it its second highest week of the season with the Trump-O’Donnell coverage. On Jan. 4 when the show’s lead story was Trump on the Today Show, ET ratings surged 32% from the prior week to a 6.2, the show’s highest single-day rating of the season. Compared to last year at this time, ET was only magazine to show any growth, improving 2%.

Talk Shows
Things weren’t quite so rosy for the talk show, however, with most of them plunging after a hot Christmas week. Problems included plenty of repeats and preemptions for Jan. 1 college bowl games as well as coverage of President Ford’s funeral on Jan. 2.

Every established talk show dropped by double digits except the king and queen. CBS Television Distribution’s Oprah, which had a 5.9, and CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil, which scored a 4.6, both bucked the down trend and rose by 9% and 5%, respectively.

The third-place talker, Buena Vista’s Live with Regis and Kelly, which was not live at all and aired reruns all week, fell 19% to a new season low 2.9. NBCU’s Maury tumbled 25% to a 2.1 which left it in fifth place on the talk show chart behind freshman standout CBS Television Distribution’s Rachael Ray. Compared to the same week a year ago every talker was sharply lower.


Ray continued to destroy her rookie competition for a 16th consecutive week. Ray equaled her season high 2.3, holding steady with the prior week and that was more than three times the 0.7 rating of the only other nationally rated new talker still in production, Sony’s Greg Behrendt, which was down 22%.

Ratings for Warner Bros.’ Dr. Keith Ablow were reprocessed and unavailable.

Court Shows
Court show ratings continued to be lackluster. Leader CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Judy dropped 6% to a 4.5 and lost 13% from last year from last year at this time, while second-place CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Joe Brown slipped 3% to a 2.8 and fell 15% from last year. In fact, the only court up week to week was third-place Warner Bros.’ People’s Court, which increased 4% to a 2.7, but still slipped 4% from last year. All other judge shows had double-digit year-to-year declines except for fourth-place Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis which was unchanged for both the week and from last year at a 2.5.

The rookie gavelers were both lower. Twentieth’s Cristina’s Court was down 7% to a 1.3 and Sony’s Judge Maria Lopez lost 9% to a 1.0.

Game Shows
Game shows were mixed, with CBS Television Distribution’s Wheel of Fortune up 5% to an 8.8 and its Jeopardy!up 6% to a  6.9. These were only games with gains. Year to year, all the gamers were down except for third-place Buena Vista’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire which was unchanged from last year at a 3.3.

Off-Net Sitcoms
Off-net sitcoms were all over the map. CBS Television Distribution’s Everybody Loves Raymond rebounded 11% to a 5.0, but fell 24% from last year. Sony’s Seinfeld barely hung on to second with a new season low 3.7, down 14% week to week and 34% year to year. Warner Bros.’ Friends was a close third, up 13% to a 3.6, but still down 29% from last year.

In weekly action, CBS Television Distribution’s Entertainment Tonight Weekend, the top-rated first-run weekly hour, staged a big recovery from Christmas week, soaring 40% to a 2.8 and showing a 4% gain over last year. Warner Bros.’ Extra! Weekend was up 14% to a 1.6, although down 11% from last year.

CBS Television Distribution’s CSI: Miami led the off-net weekly hours with a 5.0, up 22%, while Warner Bros.’ Without a Trace had a 3.0, up 30%.

First run weekly half-hours were led by CBS Television Distribution’s Wheel of Fortune Weekend at a 3.0 after a breakout during Christmas week. Buena Vista’s Ebert & Roper was second at a 2.0, up 25%, and CBS Television Distribution’s Insider Weekend took third with a 1.9, up 46%.

Sony’s Seinfeld Weekend week topped the off-net weekly half hours with a 4.1, up 52%, while CBS Television Distribution’s Everybody Loves Raymond Weekend ran second with a 3.8, up 23%.

Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

More News