Less War, More Gabbing

May 5, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Although HUT levels slipped as a result of daylight savings time, syndicated series were bolstered by declines in cable news channels. As a result, eight of the 13 talk shows gained ground, as did weekly hours, according to Nielsen Media Research for the week ending April 20.
While the rest of the strips suffered or were even week to week, a delayed reaction to daylight savings time finally kicked in as poor weather cleared away across much of the country.
Five talk shows jumped by double digits, with Buena Vista’s Live With Regis and Kelly taking a tight third-place race due to its 10 percent jump in households to a 3.2 rating.
Other double-digits winners included Telepictures’ Jenny Jones, which climbed 13 percent to a 1.8, Sony’s Ricki Lake, up 13 percent to a 1.7, Universal’s Crossing Over With John Edward, rising 10 percent to a 1.1, and Telepictures’ Caroline Rhea up 14 percent to a 0.8 score.
Other gainers week to week included King World’s Dr. Phil, which grew 2 percent to a 4.5, Universal’s Maury, up 7 percent to a 3.1, and Paramount’s Montel, up 4 percent to a 2.4 rating.
On the down side, King World’s The Oprah Winfrey Show slid 2 percent to a 5.0, Universal’s Jerry Springer dropped 4 percent to a 2.2, and NBC’s rookie John Walsh dropped 14 percent to a 1.2. Twentieth’s freshman Good Day Live was unchanged for the week.
Court shows were unable to keep up and were mostly flat or down for the week. Genre leaders Judge Judy and Judge Joe Brown from Paramount were both down, with Judy sliding 6 percent to a new season low of 4.5, while Brown dipped 3 percent to a 3.3.
Weeklies scored the biggest gains overall in syndication, with Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight weekend edition scoring its best rating since the beginning of the war with a 14 percent jump to a 3.3. In second place, Warner Bros. ER rose 19 percent to a 2.5. Finishing in a three-way tie at third with a 2.2 were MGM’s Stargate SG-1, down 4 percent, and Twentieth’s The X-Files and The Practice, both unchanged for the week.