Syndication Ratings: A week with a bang for syndie rookies

Jul 22, 2002  •  Post A Comment

A number of rookies created ratings fireworks during the Independence Day week despite ratings pre-emptions created by the coverage of Wimbledon and the Los Angeles airport shooting.
Such series as “Texas Justice,” “Elimidate” and “The 5th Wheel” merited their own celebrations, according to Nielsen Media Research for the week ending July 7.
Despite the infusion of new eyeballs, several talk shows hit all-time ratings lows. King World’s “The Oprah Winfrey Show” earned the lowest score in its history, dropping 14 percent week to week to a 4.4, shattering its old record of 4.9. Year to year, “Oprah” slid 15 percent.
Meanwhile, court show queen “Judge Judy” earned its lowest ratings in four years, since the Paramount series fell 13 percent week to week and 2 percent year to year to a 4.6 rating. Another daytime pillar, “Martha Stewart Living,” scored its lowest rating of the season, falling 8 percent for the week to a 1.1 rating. “Martha Stewart” is now down 21 percent since the stock scandal broke last month.
On the positive side of the equation, “Live With Regis and Kelly” was the only talk show to trend upward week to week, jumping 3 percent to a 3.2. Among court shows, “Divorce Court” continued to rise; the Twentieth strip grew 4 percent to a 2.8 despite being pre-empted in 24 markets. The series is now up 12 percent year to year.
Among the rookie crowd, “Texas Justice” continued to lay down the law, taking first-place honors among first-run strips with its highest rating in five weeks-a 2.2 household score for a gain of 10 percent. Fellow rookies “Elimidate” and “The Fifth Wheel” found younger HUT levels appealing with gains of 6 percent and 7 percent, respectively. “Elimidate” equaled its season high with a 1.7, up 70 percent from its debut, while “Wheel” hit a 1.5 for a 50 percent gain since the show’s premiere last fall.