Syndication Ratings: A sweet start to sweeps

May 13, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Ratings momentum swung the way of the syndicators as the first weekend of May sweeps finally set in. The results left six of the top seven weekly series on a high note for the week ending April 28, according to Nielsen Media Research. Meanwhile, the battle for first place among rookie strips once again had a change on the leader board.
Despite competition from NBA and NHL playoffs and a NASCAR race on Fox, the top weekly hours finished generally higher than the previous week, with Paramount Domestic Television’s “Entertainment Tonight” weekend edition finishing on top for the 21st straight week, up 17 percent to a 3.5 household rating.
With an 8 percent gain to a 2.8, Twentieth Television’s “The Practice” took over the No. 2 spot among weekly series, edging Tribune’s first-run airing of “Andromeda’s, ” which logged a 2.7, also an 8 percent rise. Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution’s off-network runs of “ER” took fourth-place honors, running even for the week at a 2.6. “ER’s” airings continued to skew heavily female, snagging a nice 2.2 rating among females 18 to 49 and scoring a 1.2 among males in that demographic.
MGM’s “Stargate SG-1” finished the week averaging a 2.5 rating in households for a 14 percent climb and tying Twentieth’s “The X-Files.” “X-Files” slipped 4 percent for the week. Taking one of the biggest hits among weeklies was “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” which had been a strong performer throughout the season. The series was bumped in 14 markets due to racing and sports, which contributed to the show’s finishing the week down 17 percent to a 2.0 in households.
Among rookie strips, after finishing in a three-way tie for first place last week, “Crossing Over With John Edward” took the top spot for the first time since the debut of Twentieth’s “Texas Justice.” “Crossing Over” gained 11 percent to a 2.0 and finished first among adults 25 to 54. “Texas Justice” was second for the first time since its debut in January but was up 6 percent to a 1.9 in households, edging out NBC’s “Weakest Link” at a 1.8.