Many weeklies blitzed by Super Bowl

Feb 18, 2002  •  Post A Comment

The first weekend of the February sweeps revealed an even split between first-run and off-network weekly shows in the top 10 as series positioned themselves for ratings spikes with the second half of the season under way. The problem for the weeklies, however, was the Super Bowl.
According to Nielsen Media Research for the week ending Feb. 3, only one weekly program in the top 10 showed household ratings improvement. With competition from the Super Bowl-delayed into February because of the 9/11 tragedy-the news was not unexpected.
Leading the list of weekly contenders, Paramount Domestic Television’s “Entertainment To-night” weekend edition easily led the race in households with an 8 percent increase week to week to a 4.0. The series has won the last four sweeps periods for weekly series dating back to November 2000 and looks to be off to a solid start for the February book. Among adults 18 to 49, the program pulled a 1.8 for fourth place in the demographic.
Taking the silver was MGM Television’s “Stargate SG-1,” despite a 3 percent drop for the week to a 2.8 rating. Year to year, the show scored 7 percent below 2001 levels. Among adults 18 to 49, the series earned a 1.9 for a second-place tie.
Third place in households went to two off-network series, one from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, whose “ER” scored a 2.7 for a 4 percent dip from the previous week. And Twentieth Television’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” was the first of four off-network series for the studio to break into the top 10. “Buffy’s” rookie February sweeps outing earned the program a 2.7, even for the week, with a 1.7 among adults 18 to 49. “ER” earned a 1.9 in the same demo.
Next up is the top first-run action hour of the bunch with Tribune Entertainment’s “Andromeda” down 7 percent for the week to a 2.6, tying Twentieth’s “The Practice” in households. However, “Andromeda” performed well in the key 18 to 49 demo with a 2.0, good enough for first place among weeklies. “The Practice” finished with a 1.5 in the same category.
Fellow Tribune action hour “Mutant X” followed in seventh place with a 2.4 household score, down 4 percent in its maiden February sweeps. Among adults 18 to 49, the hour earned a 1.7.
The next two weekly hours complete Twentieth’s off-network foursome as “The X-Files” slipped 21 percent to a 2.3 for the week among households while drawing a 1.8 in the demo. Meanwhile, “World’s Wildest Police Chases” skidded 15 percent to a 2.2 and earned a 1.3 in adults 18 to 49.
Rounding out the list, Columbia TriStar Television Distribution’s “VIP” finished even for the week in households with a 2.1, drawing a 1.2 among adults 18 to 49.