Syndi shows start off the February sweeps mostly flat or down.

The February sweep began Thursday, Feb. 2, but syndicated shows got off to a quiet start, showing up mostly flat or down for the week ending Feb. 5.

CBS Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight, celebrating 25 years on the air, was one of the few shows to launch the sweep with a bang. ET scored a 5.4 household rating, according to Nielsen’s live plus same day ratings, up 2% from both the prior week and the prior year. What’s more, ET marked its 500th consecutive week (more than 9 ½ years) as the top magazine show in syndication.

In second place, King World’s Inside Edition at a 3.6 dropped 5% week to week as well as year to year. CBS Paramount’s sophomore show, The Insider, tied NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood at 2.8. The Insider was up 4% from the prior week, and up 8% from last year. Access Hollywood, itself commemorating a decade of broadcasts, was unchanged week to week and up 4% from last year.

Finally, Warner Bros.’ Extra! took fifth place with a 2.4, unchanged for the week but up 9% from last year.

Elsewhere in access, Buena Vista’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire? was the only game show to start the sweep with a weekly bump. Millionaire was up 6% to a 3.5. King World’s Wheel of Fortune, syndication’s No. 1 show in households, was down 3% to 9.1, while King World’s Jeopardy!, No. 2, was down 1% to a 7.4. Compared to last year at this time, Wheel is down 7%, Jeopardy! is down 6% and Millionaire is down 3%.

Among the off-net sitcoms, King World’s Everybody Loves Raymond was up 2% to a 6.7, but down 11% from last year. Sony’s Seinfeld was unchanged at a 6.0 and down 5% from last year. And Warner Bros.’ Friends was up 4% to 5.3, but down 9% from a year ago.


In daytime, the court shows continued lackluster performances. CBS Paramount’s Judge Judy was flat at a 5.1 and down 2% from last year. CBS Paramount’s Judge Joe Brown was down 6% to a 3.2, sinking 14% year-to-year. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was down 3% to a 2.9, although the show is up12% from last year. Twentieth’s Divorce Court at a 2.6 was down 7% both week to week and year to year. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis was down 8% to a 2.4, dropping 4% from last year. And Twentieth’s rookie, Judge Alex, was down 4% to a 2.2.

Among the talk shows, King World’s The Oprah Winfrey Show was up 4% to a 7.6, but down a scant 1% from last year. King World’s Dr. Phil averaged a 5.5, up 4% for the week but flat year-to-year. Buena Vista’s Live With Regis and Kelly held steady at a 3.4, but dropping 6% from last year. NBC U’s Maury was up 3% to a 3.0, but down 3% year to year. And Warner Bros.’ The Ellen DeGeneres Show rounded out the top five with a 2.6, up 4% for the week and up 8% from last year, which was the biggest year-to-year improvement of any talk show.

Finally, the talk rookies, NBC U’s Martha and Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks, each were down 6% to a 1.7 and 1.5, respectively, although Tyra topped Martha in female demos.

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