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Syndication Ratings: Shows warmed by sweeps

May 14, 2001  •  Post A Comment

The first weekend of May sweeps arrived just in time for a number of weekly hours as ratings spiked for six of the top eight programs despite the warm weather that generally causes reduced HUT levels, according to Nielsen Media Research.
For the week ending April 29, weeklies came out punching for the important May book. The biggest winner was Paramount Domestic Television’s weekend version of “Entertainment Tonight” with a 52 percent increase over the previous year in household ratings with a 4.1 score and first place among hours. The rating is also up 14 percent over the previous week’s numbers. Among the key demos, the hour fared best with women 18 to 49 with a 2.5 and another first-place rating. Among women 18 to 54, the series ranked second with a another 2.5 rating. But it slipped with men, falling to fourth place with a 1.8 among men 18 to 49 and a 1.9 among men 25 to 54.
Twentieth Television’s “The X-Files” placed second in households at a 3.6, rising 14 percent for the week and breaking even with last year’s numbers. The off-net runs, however, took possession of first place in two radically different demographic categories, finishing tops among women 25 to 54 with a 2.7 as well as men 18 to 49 with a 2.4 score.
Tribune Entertainment’s rookie “Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda” tied with MGM Television’s “Stargate SG-1” for third place in households at a 2.9. “Andromeda” slipped 3 percent for the week in the category but still managed to take first-place honors among men 25 to 54 with a 2.8 and tied “The X-Files” for first among men 18 to 49. Among females, the series rated better with women 25 to 54, taking third place with a 2.2.
“Stargate SG-1” continued its stronger male following with third-place rankings among men 18 to 49 and men 25 to 54 with scores of 2.1 and 2.0, respectively. The series slipped in the female demos, falling as far as sixth place in women 25 to 54 with a 1.7.
Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution’s off-net runs of “ER” tied with “Xena” for fifth place among weeklies with a 2.8 rating in households. Both series were off by double digits compared with last year, with “ER” falling 24 percent and “Xena” slipping 13 percent. “Xena,” however, was up 17 percent for the week, coming off a season low, and outranked “ER” in all four demo categories, women 18 to 49, women 25 to 54, men 18 to 49 and men 25 to 54, ranking highest with women 18 to 49 at third place.
Among strips, a number of series took hits because of the warmer weather, early week repeats and sports pre-emptions. Taking the biggest hit was Buena Vista Television’s “Live With Regis & Kelly” with a 23 percent fall in households to a new low of a 2.3. The series also took a bump in women 18 to 49 with a fall of 30 percent.
King World Productions’ “Hollywood Squares” had its own troubles, hitting an all-time low rating of a 3.1, down 6 percent for the week and slipping 24 percent from last year in households.
Among rookies, Columbia TriStar Television Distribution’s “Judge Hatchett” took sole possession of first place in households among first-run series for the first time ever, despite falling 5 percent to a 1.9 score. Longtime freshman champ “Power of Attorney” was a tenth of a point behind with a 1.8, off 10 percent and landing its lowest rating of the season.