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Syndication Ratings: Summer no bummer for weekly hour shows

Jul 9, 2001  •  Post A Comment

A summer influx of young eyeballs fresh out of school helped prop up syndicated ratings for the week ending June 24. The ratings balloon especially buoyed weekly hours, as the top three series each experienced double-digit growth entering the summer season, according to Nielsen Media Research.
The summer heat helped a number of series improve their standings vs. their May sweeps averages. Series such as Paramount Domestic Television’s “Entertainment Tonight Weekend” and the Studios USA Domestic Television duo of “Xena” and “The Invisible Man” were helped the most by the increased HUT levels. “ET Weekend” and “Xena” took first- and second-place honors, respectively, in the weekly race in households while earning a significant demo boost.
In households, “ET Weekend” shot up 24 percent compared with the previous week to a 3.6 to garner first place. Among men 18 to 34, the series gained four tenths of a point while adding a tenth of a point among females in the same age group compared with May sweeps performances.
The departing “Xena,” helped by a series finale, landed in second place overall and first among first-run fare. The hour was up 10 percent in households to a 3.2, while growing by three-tenths of a point among men 18 to 49 and half a point in the female ranks to ratings of 1.4 and 1.9, respectively.
Warner Bros. Domestic Television’s off-net airings of “ER” rose 19 percent to a 3.1 in households for the week. The series rose a tenth of a point among females 18 to 34 for a first-place tie with “Xena” but failed to crack the top 10 among males in the same demographic.
Twentieth Television’s “The X-Files” continued to lead the charge among males 18 to 34, taking first place for the week, despite slipping a tenth of a point in the demo to a 1.9 compared with sweeps and dropping 3 percent in households from the previous week. Among females in the same age bracket, the show dropped to fourth with a slide of four-tenths of a point.
MGM Television’s airings of “Stargate SG-1” were off 8 percent to a 2.4 in households vs. the previous week. Compared with the sweeps period, the series took a hit in the demos with a half-point drop among males to a 1.3 while falling off the top 10 list altogether among females.
Surging for the week was Studios USA’s “The Invisible Man” with a 25 percent climb in households to a 1.9. Its demos show an equally strong period as the series landed in third among males 18 to 34 with a 1.6, tying “Andromeda” to show a half-point improvement in the demo.
Other significant movement in the weekly hour household charts found New Line Television’s “The Lost World” up 25 percent for the week to a 2.0, Paramount’s rookie “Maximum Exposure” up 18 percent to a 2.0 and freshman “Thunderbox” growing an eye-popping 78 percent compared with the previous week after falling more than 50 percent the week before.