Syndication Ratings: Spring doldrums set in

Apr 22, 2002  •  Post A Comment

As students were lamenting the end of spring break, so too were syndication executives, who saw declines for this season’s strips almost across the board.
Neither talk nor court shows had overall improvement week to week, according to Nielsen Media Research. Game shows, however, held up well.
In household ratings, King World Productions’ “Wheel of Fortune” (9.7) and “Jeopardy!” (8.2) both posted upticks of a tenth of a point for each show. The twosome scored better than the same week last year in all key demos.
This year’s sole remaining rookie game show, NBC Enterprises’ “Weakest Link,” was even for the week at a 1.9, tying Studios USA’s “Crossing Over With John Edward” for second place among all rookies. However, the game show strip finished with an all-time-high GAA rating of 2.4 in households, marking three weeks of continued growth in that category.
Another show on the rise, Telepictures Productions’ “Elimidate,” was the only rookie series to show improvement in the GAA ranks, rising 6 percent for the week to a 1.7, tying its own best rating ever. Among the key demos, the series scored tops among freshmen in adults 18 to 34 (1.1 rating) and 18 to 49 (1.0).
Among all freshman first-run strips, Twentieth Television’s “Texas Justice” remained on top in households despite a 5 percent dip to a 2.1.
None of the top four talk shows posted week-to-week gains. King World’s “Oprah” continued to lead the pack, remaining even for the period at a 6.2 in households. Second place went to Buena Vista Television’s “Live With Regis and Kelly,” down 10 percent to a 3.5. Meanwhile, Studios USA’s twosome of “Maury” (3.1) and “Jerry Springer” (2.8) both slid to lower scores.
No court shows came out of the week on a positive note. Paramount Domestic Television’s “Judge Judy” dipped 2 percent to a 5.6 to finish first, with fellow Paramount strip “Judge Joe Brown” second at a 3.1, down 9 percent.
Twentieth’s “Divorce Court” took third despite a 3 percent slide to a 2.8. Telepictures’ “Greg Mathis” earned fourth at a 2.3, with “People’s Court” (1.9) and “Judge Hatchett” (1.6) rounding out the pack.