Syndication Ratings: Talk shows appeal to the young and out of school

Jul 8, 2002  •  Post A Comment

With teens and college students at home for the summer, the talk show genre was infused with a jolt of youthful eyes and as a result, younger-skewing series hit home runs. Meanwhile, typically older-skewing shows seemed to stumble, according to Nielsen Media Research for the week ending June 23.
Four talk shows received ratings bumps, as Universal’s “Maury” took over second place in the genre for the second time this season, growing 14 percent to a 3.3 household average. Fellow Universal strip “Sally Jessy Raphael,” although now canceled, rose 25 percent to a 1.5 rating.
Newcomers “Crossing Over With John Edward” and “The Other Half” worked their way up the charts. Universal’s “Crossing Over” ballooned 13 percent to a 1.8 rating, tying “Weakest Link” for second place among first-run rookie strips. NBC Enterprises’ “The Other Half” rebounded from a season low the previous week with an 11 percent jump to a 1.0 rating.
On the flip side, three strips hit all-time lows that week, with Buena Vista’s “Live with Regis and Kelly” sliding 13 percent to a 2.8 rating, “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” hitting an all-time low of 1.8 (a 5 percent dip) and King World’s “Wheel of Fortune” sliding 1 percent to 7.4, its worst-ever household rating-but still enough to best all other syndicated shows.
“Jerry Springer” took fourth place at a 2.5, flat for the week and off 32 percent from last year. “Montel Williams” slid 7 percent to a 2.4 and “Jenny Jones” was even at a 1.9, as was “Ricki Lake” at a 1.8. “Martha Stewart” was also flat at a 1.3.
Among daytime shows, the only strip able to improve on its previous year’s rating was Twentieth’s “Divorce Court,” which was up 4 percent compared with the same period last year at a 2.5, flat for the week.