`ET Weekend,’ `Regis’ rise

Mar 19, 2001  •  Post A Comment

The annual ratings erosion suffered by syndicators during February sweeps continued this year, according to Nielsen Media Research numbers. However, a lucky few, namely the newsmagazines and a revamped “Live With Regis & Kelly,” bucked the trend in both households and the demos.
Households saw few veteran shows improve over their February 2000 numbers, with Paramount Domestic Television’s “Entertainment Tonight Weekend” rising the most of any major series, up 30 percent from a year ago to a 4.8. Among the women 18 to 49 crowd, the series pulled a 2.7, skyrocketing 42 percent over last year.
Other winter winners were Buena Vista Television’s “Live With Regis & Kelly,” which grew 11 percent to a 4.2 score. Even more impressively, the typically older-skewing strip grew in adults 18 to 49 with a 25 percent rise to a 1.5.
The only other talk show to gain eyeballs was Telepictures Distribution’s “Queen Latifah” with an 8 percent rise over February 2000 to a 1.4. Among the talk shows taking a hit were “Jerry Springer” (3.8, down 16 percent), “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” (3.1, down 21 percent), “Sally Jessy Raphael” (2.4, down 25 percent) and “Jenny Jones” (2.3, down 12 percent).
The hardest-hit court shows were “Judge Judy” (6.4, down 15 percent), “Judge Joe Brown” (3.9, down 11 percent), “People’s Court” (1.9, down 32 percent) and “Judge Mills Lane” (1.8, down 25 percent). “Divorce Court” was off the least amount, down 6 percent with a 3.1.
Leading the pack in freshmen series were Tribune Entertainment’s “Andromeda” with a 3.7 for the weeklies and Twentieth Television’s “Power of Attorney” for the strips with a 2.4.
Within the daily newsmagazine scene, King World Productions’ “Inside Edition” rose 6 percent in households to a 3.3, leading the genre as the biggest gainer. King World also led households with its dynamic duo of “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” despite dips of 8 percent and 9 percent, respectively, to 11.0 and 9.1 ratings.
Demos, however, told a different story as “Friends” led the crowds in both adults 18 to 49 and women 18 to 49, more than a full point over its closest competitors in both categories. The off-network runs of the Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution show were off 2 percent in adults 18 to 49 at a 4.6 and flat among women 18 to 49 with a 5.3, but both were good enough for first place in all of syndication. The show was seventh in households with a 6.2.
“Entertainment Tonight” finished second among women but slid to third among the key adult demographic, despite slipping in households year to year to a 6.9. The strip gained 5 percent in women 18 to 49 for a 4.2 rating while climbing 6 percent in adults 18 to 49 with a 3.4.
“The Oprah Winfrey Show” finished third but was off 5 percent in women 18 to 49 with a 4.2. However, the King World programming staple slid to a sixth-place tie overall for all adults, tying “Drew Carey Show” runs at a 2.7.
Columbia TriStar Television Distribution’s off-network airings of “Seinfeld” moved in the opposite direction as the series finished the sweeps book in second place for adults 18 to 49 at a 3.6, down 10 percent, and slipped to fourth with a 3.3 for women 18 to 49.
Rounding out the top five shows within the demos, King World’s “Wheel of Fortune” landed in fifth for both categories as the game show pulled a 2.8 for adults and a 3.2 for women, representing slides of 15 percent and 18 percent, respectively.