Pop Star Arrest Ups Newsmags

Dec 8, 2003  •  Post A Comment

While most genres struggled toward the end of the November sweeps, celebrity-driven newsmagazines-both weekly hours and strips-continued their climb up the charts, buoyed by news of the Michael Jackson scandal.
According to Nielsen Media Research figures for the week ending Nov. 23, Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” and NBC Enterprises’ “Access Hollywood” both enjoyed key gains for the month as weekend versions of the two shows marked the only growth of any weekly series among the top 15 hours.
“ET” weekend averaged a 3.9 for the month, up 8 percent compared with November 2002 and good for first-place bragging rights among all weekly series. Meanwhile, “Access Hollywood” weekend edition finished the month averaging a 1.8 rating, tying fellow newsmagazine “Extra.” “Access” was up 6 percent for the year, while “Extra” tumbled 5 percent.
Coming in second among weeklies was a three-way tie among freshman off-net hour “The West Wing” and veterans “Stargate SG-1” from MGM and “Mutant X” from Tribune. “Stargate” is down 15 percent from last November, while “Mutant” is off 4 percent for the book.
Right behind the trio was a tie between Tribune’s “Andromeda” and Warner’s “ER.” “Andromeda” is down 5 percent, while “ER” is off 17 percent for the sweep. They are followed by MGM’s first-run sophomore “She Spies” at a 1.9, down 10 percent for the year, in a tie with Twentieth’s off-net “The Practice, which was down 17 percent.
Among half-hour weeklies, NBC Enterprises’ “The Chris Matthews Show” scored a 1.8 rating, up 29 percent year to year.
Among strips for the last full week of sweeps, celebrity-driven newsmagazines once again were the standouts, with three of the shows hitting new season highs as news broke of an arrest warrant being issued for Mr. Jackson. “Access Hollywood” was up by double digits in both week-to-week and year-to-year comparisons. The strip was up 10 percent for the week to a new season high of 3.4, marking an improvement of 21 percent year to year.
“Entertainment Tonight” scored a 3 percent rise to a season-best 6.5, up 7 percent from 2002. Telepictures’ “Extra” took home its best numbers of the season with an 8 percent improvement to a 2.9, matching its score in 2002. “Celebrity Justice” rose 8 percent to a 1.3, for a 7 percent dip from 2002.
King World’s “Inside Edition” was off 3 percent for the week at 3.7, but still bested its 2002 rating by 9 percent.