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`Wheel,’ `Jeopardy!’ still have demo power

Mar 12, 2001  •  Post A Comment

A week of families and fortunes found huge success with game and relationship shows in the household ratings. But in the key demos, audiences are finding their way to brand new formats, according to Nielsen Media Research for the week ending Feb. 25, as “Blind Date” and “Street Smarts” capitalize on the younger eyeballs.
King World Productions’ duo of “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” once again clocked in as the top two programs in households. Meanwhile, Pearson Domestic Television’s own tandem of “Family Feud” and “To Tell the Truth” hit new highs for the season as the February sweeps period wound down.
“Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” maintained their death grip as the top two shows in women 25 to 54, yet the ratings difference becomes marginal with the younger women 18 to 34 category many advertisers covet. “Wheel” sat atop the food chain, hitting an 11.0 household mark, a rise of 1 percent for the week, but off 8 percent compared with last year’s numbers. The series easily leads the pack in women 25 to 54 with a 4.2 score but slips among women 18 to 34, landing at a 2.5 rating-still good enough for first place.
“Jeopardy!” tells a similar story, also up 1 percent to a 9.0 household rating but down 10 percent in a year-to-year comparison. The series earned a 3.5 in the women 25 to 54 demo and a 2.1 in the women 18 to 34 slot, only a tenth of a point ahead of the red-hot relationship strip “Blind Date” from Universal Television.
King World’s “Hollywood Squares” finished with a 4.1 household score, up 2 percent for the week and off 9 percent from year-ago figures. Although ranking third overall in the genre in households and the women 25 to 54 category, the series slips to fifth place in the women 18 to 34 category with a 1.6 rating.
Pearson found new ratings highs for its pair of game shows as “Family Feud” and “To Tell the Truth” scored a 2.8 and 2.0 in households, respectively. That marks an 8 percent weekly gain for the sophomore “Family Feud” and a 17 percent rise over last year. For the freshman “Truth,” the number marks an overall season high, rising 18 percent over last week. In the women 18 to 34 demo, “Family Feud’s” 1.4 rating didn’t make it into the top five, while “Truth” pulled a 0.8.
Sophomore series “Blind Date” slipped slightly in households this week, off 4 percent with a 2.2. However, the series has grown 10 percent from last year and ranks third in its target women 18 to 34 demographic at a 2.0 and fourth among women 25 to 54 at a 1.5.
Telepictures Distribution’s freshman “Street Smarts” continues to grow through the sweeps as the series tied its best score ever in households at a 2.1 rating, up 24 percent from last week. Although out of the top five in both households and women 25 to 54, the series has scored well among women 18 to 34 with a 1.7, edging out “Hollywood Squares.”
The studio’s sophomore “Change of Heart” showed a 5 percent improvement over last week with a 2.0 rating, but was off 17 percent from year-ago numbers. The strip pulled a 1.4 in women 18 to 34 and a 1.3 in women 25 to 54.
MGM Worldwide Television’s struggling strip “Sex Wars” takes the bottom of all three rankings with a 0.6 rating in households, up 20 percent, a 0.4 in women 18 to 34 and a 0.3 in women 25 to 54.