Top Seven Weeklies on the Rise

Feb 2, 2004  •  Post A Comment

As young viewers headed back to school after the winter holiday, syndication numbers dipped for nearly every genre. The exception was, however, weeklies, with each of the top seven shows showing improvement for the week ending Jan. 18, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Six of the top seven weekly series in syndication nabbed double-digit increases. Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” weekend edition led the pack with a jump of 33 percent to a 4.4, its highest rating since November.
In second place, rookie off-net series “The West Wing” rose 14 percent to a 2.5, tying MGM’s “Stargate SG-1,” which rose 9 percent. Fellow MGM series “She Spies” gained 20 percent to a household rating of 2.4. Twentieth’s “The Practice” bolted 15 percent to a 2.3, matching the weekend edition of NBC Enterprises’ “Access Hollywood.” “Access” grew 10 percent for the week.
Rounding out the top seven was Tribune’s action series “Mutant X” with a jump of 10 percent to a 2.2.
Among strips, Twentieth’s “On-Air with Ryan Seacrest” entered its first week in syndication with a 1.0 rating, putting the show in the ballpark of most first-run debuts last fall. The figure is higher than the opening week of “Starting Over” and “Wayne Brady” but lower than the debut of Telepictures’ “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “The Sharon Osbourne Show.”
Taking the biggest hit from the loss of younger viewers, oddly enough, were court shows, which typically skew to older audiences. None of the court shows were up for the week, and genre leader “Judge Judy” continued in the top spot with a 5.0 rating, despite a dip of 6 percent for the week and 12 percent from last year. “Judge Joe Brown” had a 3.3, down 11 percent both for the week and compared with the same period a year ago.
Twentieth’s “Divorce Court” slid 10 percent to a 2.6, down 16 percent compared with last year.
Among other court shows, Telepictures’ “The People’s Court” and “Judge Greg Mathis” both fell 4 percent to 2.2. Compared with the previous year, “People’s Court” is running even, while “Mathis” is up 16 percent. Sony’s “Judge Hatchett” was the only series not to drop week to week, scoring a 2.0 rating, up 11 percent over its 2003 number. Twentieth’s “Texas Justice” hit a season low with a 1.8 rating, down 10 percent for the week and 25 percent year to year.