Plenty of New Syndie Season Highs for Christmas Week

Jan 6, 2005  •  Post A Comment

For the week ended Dec. 26, nine syndicated strips got the gift of new season highs in their national household ratings. Five of the shows hitting new seasonal heights were talk shows, including Buena Vista’s “Live With Regis and Kelly,” which grew 11 percent from the previous week to a 4.0, according to Nielsen Media Research.

“Live” also had its highest-rated single day of the season Christmas Eve, when its “Pajama Party” holiday episode scored a 4.5 household rating. Other season highs included NBC Universal’s “Maury,” which grew 7 percent week to week to a 3.2, and Paramount’s “The Montel Williams Show,” which grew 4 percent to a 2.6.

Two new talk shows also saw season and series highs: NBC Universal’s “The Jane Pauley Show” was up 21 percent for the week to a 1.7, and Sony’s “Life & Style” grew 20 percent to a 0.6.

Four court shows saw new highs, with Paramount’s genre leader “Judge Judy” growing 2 percent for the week to a 5.3. Twentieth’s “Divorce Court” grew 11 percent week to week to a 3.0, along with the studio’s “Texas Justice,” which grew 16 percent to a 2.2. Sony’s “Judge Hatchett” was up 18 percent for the week to a 2.0.

The top two shows in syndication saw drops for the week but still outperformed their year-ago performances. King World’s “Wheel of Fortune” was down 3 percent to a 8.6 but was up 9 percent from the same week a year ago. Sister program “Jeopardy!” dropped 5 percent for the week to a 7.2, continuing it slide since super-contestant Ken Jennings left the show. “Jeopardy!” was still up 16 percent for the week versus its year-ago performance.

The top-rated talk show, King World’s “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” was unchanged at a 6.6 for the week but was up 14 percent from last year. “Oprah” spinoff “Dr. Phil” was down 8 percent to a 4.7, a new season low, but was also up year to year by 15 percent.

King World’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” was the top-rated off-net strip with a 6.7, down 6 percent from last year. Sony’s “Seinfeld” was down 2 percent for the week with a 6.2, while Warner Bros.’ “friends” grew 11 percent to tie “Seinfeld” for the No. 2 spot among comedy strips.

Among first-season off-net strips. Twentieth’s “Malcolm in the Middle” was down 6 percent to a 3.3, while Twentieth’s “Yes, Dear” and NBC Universal’s “Fear Factor” were both unchanged for the week with a 1.9. Paramount’s “Girlfriends” was down 6 percent to a 1.6.

New first-run strips mostly saw increases, with Buena Vista’s “The Tony Danza Show” up 8 percent for the week with a 1.4, Twentieth’s “Ambush Makeover” rose 33 percent to a 1.2, Telepictures’ “The Larry Elder Show” up 11 percent to a 1.0, and Sony’s “Pat Croce: Moving In” up 14 percent to a 0.8. The only new strip to drop was the newsmagazine “The Insider” from Paramount, which scored a 2.5, down 7 percent from the previous week.