Syndication Ratings: Judged popular

Jul 15, 2002  •  Post A Comment

The rich got richer as summer settled into repeat-dominated syndicated programming. The top series in virtually each of the genres all benefited from summer audiences, while competitors struggled. The big exception was amid the court shows, where all but one strip sizzled, according to Nielsen Media Research for the week ending June 30.
Court shows continued to have a strong showing, since six of the seven contenders gained ground. Paramount’s “Judge Judy” remained No. 1 in the category with a 2 percent hike to a 5.3 rating, although the strip is down 2 percent year to year. Fellow Paramount series “Judge Joe Brown” rose 6 percent to a 3.3 for the week and is even with last year’s rating numbers.
Twentieth Television’s twosome of “Divorce Court” and “Texas Justice” were on the front burner, with “Divorce Court” rising 8 percent both for the week and year to year to a 2.7. “Justice” remained the top rookie first-run strip for the last 24 out of 25 weeks in households with a 5 percent rise to a 2.0.
Warner Bros.’ duo of “Judge Mathis” and “The People’s Court” also benefited from summer audiences, rising 10 percent and 5 percent, respectively. “Mathis”’ 2.3 marks a 15 percent improvement compared with the same period last year, while “People’s Court’s” 2.0 scored a 25 percent improvement year to year.
Columbia TriStar’s “Judge Hatchett” was off 6 percent to a 1.5 rating and is down 12 percent year to year.
Meanwhile, category leaders in each of the remaining genres except talk were the only gainers for the week among the top-rated series. “Friends” was up 3 percent to a 6.4; “Wheel of Fortune” rose 1 percent to a 7.5; “Entertainment Tonight” grew 4 percent to a 5.0, while the weekend version rose 16 percent to a 3.7.
In the talk show ranks, “The Oprah Winfrey Show” remained on top with a 5.1, unchanged for the week, but the big winner was “The Jenny Jones Show,” which hit its highest rating of the season. “Jenny” rose 16 percent to a 2.2, the biggest gain among talk shows.