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Syndication Ratings: Shows pick up strength

Dec 10, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Naysayers may be quick to point out that disappointing year-to-year November sweeps comparisons are a poor start for this year’s batch of syndicated programs. But after disruptions by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and a down-to-the-wire World Series, the November results are far more positive than negative, according to Nielsen Media Research for the week ending Nov. 25.
While strips, including “Judge Mathis” (at a 2.5 rating) and “The Fifth Wheel” (1.4), reached new season highs with a week remaining in the book, weekly hours finished the sweeps below last year’s levels but proved that momentum was still building in the category.
Most of the top weekly hours gained ground in the final week of the book, although none of the top 10 veterans showed any gains over November 2000. However, significant improvement (in some cases as much as 30 percent) was shown compared with October’s results.
Overall, Paramount Domestic Television’s “Entertainment Tonight” weekend edition led the pack for the second consecutive year, with a 3.5 household average despite dipping 13 percent from last year. Among rookies, Tribune Entertainment’s “Mutant X” took the win with a 3.0 average in its first sweeps outing, fending off a quickly rising “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” which completed the month with a 2.8 average after gaining 7 percent in the final week.
In fact, Twentieth’s “Buffy” and Paramount’s “Maximum Exposure” led all weekly series in October vs. November comparisons, with “Exposure” up 25 percent overall in households with a 2 average, but posting a 30 percent increase among men 18 to 49 with a 1.3. “Buffy” was up 22 percent in households at a 2.8 and 21 percent among men 18 to 49 with a 1.7 (good enough for second place overall in the genre). It also posted 20 percent gain among females in that category with a 1.8.
Twentieth’s “The Practice” took third place among the freshman crowd, with a 2.7 household average and demo ratings of 1.1 and 1.8 among men and women 18 to 49, respectively. Fellow Twentieth weekly “World’s Wildest Police Videos” came in fourth with a 2.3 in households and a strong 1.8 among men 18 to 49.
Rising in November was Hearst Entertainment’s rookie reality hour “The Bravest,” finishing the sweeps at a 1.3 but up a solid 13 percent in men 18 to 49, with a 0.9.
Half-hour rookie “Hot Ticket” completed the book averaging a 1.6, up 14 percent in households compared to October. The series also earned a 0.7 and 0.8 among men and women 18 to 49, respectively.
Among the veteran crowd, Tribune’s “Andromeda,” in its second season, averaged a 3.1 household rating, down 21 percent compared with the previous November but up 11 percent vs. its October 2001 score. The series leads action hours in both key demos, pulling a 2.1 among men 18 to 49 and a 2.0 among women 18 to 49.