While off-network sitcom ratings have come out of the woods with spiked ratings for the week ending July 21, it was another Woods who sunk weekend fare into a ratings quagmire.
According to Nielsen Media Research, eight of the top nine sitcoms were up for the week, with only “Friends,” still the genre leader, bucking the trend by falling down 3 percent to a 6.1 household rating. Each of the next eight players were up, with Columbia TriStar Television Distribution’s “Seinfeld” retaining the second spot with a 10 percent rise to a 5.7 rating. That continued to be good enough to fend off King World Productions’ rookie “Everybody Loves Raymond” at a 5.3 rating, a climb of 4 percent.
Twentieth Television’s “King of the Hill” finished in a fourth place tie with its highest rating in 15 weeks, a 6 percent jump to a 3.4 score. Buena Vista Television’s “Home Improvement” also earned a 3.4 for its highest rating of the season. Paramount Domestic Television’s “Frasier” was next, climbing 7 percent to a 3.0, while “Just Shoot Me” rose 5 percent to a 2.3. Rounding out the main players were “3rd Rock From the Sun” and “Drew Carey,” both rising 11 percent to a 2.0.
Among the weeklies, stiff competition from Tiger Woods’ run at the British Open caused a lackluster week, since only five series were able to crack a 2.0 score. Last year, 10 series were able to make that claim.
Leading the pack was Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” weekend edition with a 27 percent spike to a 3.8 for its highest rating in nine weeks. Year to year the show is up 12 percent. Coming in second were MGM Television’s “Stargate SG-1” and Twentieth’s “The X-Files” tied at a 2.1 rating. “Stargate” was up 11 percent in households, while “X-Files” was off 9 percent.
Three series tied at a 2.0, since Twentieth’s two rookies “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “The Practice” joined “ER” at the finish line. “Buffy” was unchanged for the week, while “The Practice” was off 17 percent and “ER” was down 5 percent.