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Time Change Helps Newsmags During Sweeps

Nov 17, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Newsmagazine distributors got an early holiday present as ratings for weekend editions and strips received ratings jolts at the end of daylight-saving time, which coincided with the onset of November sweeps.
Despite pre-emptions on the West Coast due to the Southern California fires, access series and newsmagazines in particular saw ratings growth almost across the board, according to Nielsen Media Research for the week ending Nov. 2, which included the first weekend and first two weekdays of the ratings book.
Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” led the pack in household numbers in both the stripped and the weekend version. “ET Weekend” had a 9 percent ratings jump for the week and a 6 percent rise year to year to a 3.6. Meanwhile, the regular Monday-through-Friday version of the strip grew 13 percent to a 6.1.
“Access Hollywood’s” weekend growth was even greater. NBC Enterprises’ weekly hour rose 33 percent week to week and 43 percent year to year with a 2.0 score, the biggest gains of any top weekly hour. The weekday version was also up with a 7 percent climb to a 2.9.
Telepictures strip “Extra” was up 4 percent for the week to a 2.6, while its weekend edition blossomed with a 19 percent hike in week-to-week comparisons to a 1.9 rating. That number is up 12 percent over last year.
Among other newsmagazine strips, King World’s “Inside Edition” was up 3 percent to a 3.4, while Telepictures’ “Celebrity Justice” bucked the trend and was down 8 percent for the week to a 1.2.
Other access series also benefited from the time change as King World’s “Wheel of Fortune” rose 9 percent to a 9.4, “Jeopardy!” grew 6 percent to a 7.2 and Buena Vista’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” climbed 6 percent to a 3.5. Among top access off-net series, Sony’s “Seinfeld” rose 7 percent to a 6.2, tying Warner Bros.’ “Friends.”
Among the non-newsmagazine weeklies, there was a three-way tie for first place as Tribune’s “Mutant X,” MGM’s “Stargate SG-1” and rookie off-net series “The West Wing” each scored a 2.3. “Mutant X” was up for the week by 15 percent and up year to year by 10 percent. “Stargate” was even in both categories while freshman “The West Wing” rose 5 percent over the previous week.
Right behind them, the off-net run of Warner Bros.’ “ER” tied first-run “She Spies” for second place overall with a 2.0. “ER” was up 24 percent for the week but down 9 percent for the year. “She Spies” was up in both categories-17 percent week to week and 9 percent year to year.