Access shows soar

Nov 18, 2002  •  Post A Comment

The end of daylight-saving time brought a ray of sunshine to syndicators entering the first few days of November sweeps, as a number of series reached all-time highs for the week ending Nov. 3, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Series in access time slots benefited the most, with six sitcoms, three game shows and half of the newsmagazines reaching season highs.
Among the off-net crowd, Warner Bros.’ “Friends” continued to rule the roost, rising 7 percent to a 7.3 score, just edging out a resurgent “Seinfeld,” which jumped 11 percent to a 7.2 rating. King World’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” grew 10 percent to a 6.7 rating to take third place. Warner Bros.’ “Will & Grace” nabbed the fourth spot with a 10 percent climb to a 4.4 rating, beating talk show hit “Dr. Phil” for the first time this season in the battle for top overall new syndicated show.
Carsey-Werner’s “That ’70s Show” climbed 16 percent to a 3.7 rating, while “Home Improvement” jumped 6 percent to a 3.5. Each of these off-net strips earned season highs.
Within the access crowd, Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” scored its highest rating since last May with a 6.1, a 9 percent increase. King World’s “Inside Edition” was even with a 3.2. Telepictures’ “Extra” grew 12 percent to a season high of 2.9, while NBC’s “Access Hollywood” rose 13 percent to a 2.7.
Game shows “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” took the top two spots with “Wheel” hitting its best score for the season at a 9.6 (an 8 percent jump) and “Jeopardy!” jumping 6 percent to a 7.4. Rookie “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” continued to climb, earning its top score ever with a 3.0, up 11 percent. King World’s revamped “Hollywood Squares” rose 17 percent to a season high of 2.7. Freshman “Pyramid” was unchanged at a 1.7.
While several daytime-oriented series scored season highs, only a precious few hit or matched all-time highs. Court show strip “Texas Justice” equaled its best score ever at a 2.3. Action among rookies saw NBC’s “John Walsh” rise 8 percent to a 1.4 for its best score ever, beating out the three-way 1.0 tie among “Caroline Rhea,” “Beyond With James Van Praagh” and “Rob Nelson.” “Dr. Phil” clearly maintains the lead among rookies in the genre despite dipping 5 percent to a 4.2.
Among freshman reality strips, “Celebrity Justice” was unchanged at 1.2, while “Life Moments” jumped 13 percent to 0.9.