Syndication Ratings: King World’s fortunes rise

Dec 2, 2002  •  Post A Comment

The atmosphere of the November sweeps continued to hang thickly for syndicators, invigorating some and chilling others. According to Nielsen Media Research, the top newsmagazines and game shows benefited from early nights, while several new strips reached new highs for the week ending Nov. 17.
Overall, there was little radical movement within the ratings ranks, but King World’s game show trio of “Wheel of Fortune,” “Jeopardy!” and “Hollywood Squares” was buoyed by ratings surges. “Wheel of Fortune” hit a season high with a 2 percent rise to a 9.7 rating, while “Jeopardy!” ballooned to a high of 7.5 for the week, growing 1 percent week to week, according to Nielsen Media Research.
“Hollywood Squares” jumped 4 percent with a 2.6, just barely out of third place, which was occupied by rookie “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” at a 2.7. Tribune’s “Family Feud” grew 13 percent to a 1.7, tying Universal’s “Blind Date” and NBC’s “Weakest Link.”
The top two newsmagazines improved, as Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” hit its highest numbers in 33 weeks, up 5 percent to a 6.3. King World’s “Inside Edition” bolted 9 percent and equaled its season high of 3.5.
Within the talk show ranks, syndication’s biggest gainer was Universal’s “Crossing Over With John Edward” which saw a 15 percent jump to a 1.5, thanks to a celebrity reading. The score was its best rating in eight weeks and helped the show pull away (at least for the time being) from psychic rival “Beyond With James Van Praagh,” which had a 1.0.
Another talker moving up was rookie “Dr. Phil,” which boasted its best ratings ever with a 9 percent hike to a 4.8. “Maury” rose 3 percent to a season high of 3.3 and “Montel” had a 4 percent jump to a 2.7. Among rookie talk shows, Telepictures’ “Caroline Rhea” and Twentieth’s “Rob Nelson” also improved, both with 10 percent boosts to 1.1 ratings.
The only other rookie strip to show improvement was “Celebrity Justice,” rising 8 percent to a 1.3.