Hours have power in May

Jun 4, 2001  •  Post A Comment

The stars were shining this May sweeps as the weekend hours wrapped up the book with a slew of winners across the board, according to Nielsen Media Research.
For many, such as “Xena: Warrior Princess” and “Baywatch Hawaii,” this period wraps up their final appearance ever in the sweeps, with newcomers “Mutant X” and “Tracker” preparing to fill the slots.
Depending on your point of view, a number of shows could claim championships despite general erosion from the previous May sweeps.
Among weeklies overall, Paramount Domestic Television’s weekend version of “Entertainment Tonight” took the cake in households with a 3.7 rating average. That figure is up 9 percent from May 2000, edging out Twentieth Television’s off-network runs of “The X-Files” at a 3.4 rating. “X-Files” slipped 6 percent from last year’s sweeps numbers but held up better than last year’s May sweeps champion “ER,” which fell to a third-place tie at a 3.0 with a drop of 23 percent year to year.
The only other major series to grow in households was Tribune Entertainment’s “Beastmaster,” up 5 percent from last year for a 2.1 May average, tying the likes of fellow Tribune series “Earth Final Conflict,” Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution’s weekend runs of “Extra” and “Profiler.”
Also at a 3.0 is this year’s top-rated first-run weekly hour and top rookie series “Andromeda.” The Tribune hour won households within the genre as well as women 25 to 54 and men 25 to 54 with ratings of 2.1 and 2.4, respectively. Among women 18 to 34, the series lands in a third place tie with a 1.2 rating while taking second among men 18 to 34 at a 1.9 rating.
Earning top honors among first-run scripted weeklies for men 18 to 34 is MGM Television’s “Stargate SG-1” with a 2.0 rating, edging “Andromeda” by a tenth of a point. In households, “Stargate” was off 15 percent compared with the last May book with a 2.8 average.
Among women 18 to 34, there was a tie for scripted programming champ as the femme-led series “Xena” from Studios USA Domestic Television and “VIP” tied for first place with 1.5 ratings. In fact, the two series tied among men 18 to 34 as well, with 1.4 ratings in the final showdown between the two heavyweights. Household ratings, with “Xena” finishing on top with a 2.7 average, dipped 16 percent from last year. “VIP” earned a 2.3 rating, with a drop of 18 percent.
Another long-running series not returning is Pearson Television’s “Baywatch Hawaii,” which, like “Xena,” was pulled because of rising production costs. In its final May roundup, the Pearson series earned a 1.6 rating, performing better among females than males with a 1.1 average among women 18 to 34 for fifth place while sliding to an eighth-place tie among men 18 to 34 with a 0.9 rating.