Syndication Ratings: Talk about tough times

May 27, 2002  •  Post A Comment

A changing of the guard is coming in the talk show ranks, with six new strips slated for the upcoming fall season and King World Productions’ “Ananda” now officially joining veterans “Sally Jessy Raphael” and “Rosie O’Donnell” in leaving the air.
“Ananda” failed to show significant growth since its debut last fall, most recently sliding 9 percent week to week to a 1.0 household rating during the second full week of May sweeps, according to Nielsen Media Research data for the week ending May 12. The announcement was not unexpected, as stations in the key New York, Los Angeles and Chicago markets previously announced that they would not renew the series.
With the exception of “Martha Stewart Living,” talk shows have had a hard time this year, with six veterans off by double digits from May 2001 sweeps numbers.
King World’s “Oprah” once again reigns supreme, averaging a 5.8 household rating, up 2 percent for the week and off 2 percent year to year.
Second place went to Buena Vista Television’s “Live With Regis and Kelly,” rising 3 percent for the week to a 3.5 but sliding 8 percent from the same period last year. Still, the number was good enough to fend off Universal Television’s “Maury” at a 3.1, down 6 percent for the week and off 9 percent for the year.
Tying for fourth place in households were Universal’s “Jerry Springer” and Paramount Domestic Television’s “Montel Williams” at 2.5. Both series have dropped significantly from last year’s numbers, with “Springer’s” average down 31 percent year to year while “Montel” slid 17 percent.
In Ms. O’Donnell’s third-to-last week of live shows, “Rosie” gained some momentum leading in to her finale with a 4 percent climb to a 2.4. Still, the strip is off 20 percent from 2001 numbers.
Rounding out the pack of veterans, “Jenny Jones” and “Ricki Lake” were both even for the week, tying with 1.8 ratings. In year-to-year analysis, “Jones” is down 10 percent while “Ricki” is off 22 percent.
“Martha Stewart” was the only show in the category to display year-to-year growth, rising 15 percent for the week to a 1.5 household average and up 7 percent vs. last year.
At the bottom of the pack is the outgoing “Sally Jessy Raphael” at a 1.3, sliding 13 percent for the week and 43 percent for the year.