Strips See Spate of Season Highs

Jan 17, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The week ended Jan. 2 was a big week for syndicated strips.

Five court shows, five talk shows and two rookie strips all hit season highs despite a raft of repeats, holiday specials and football pre-emptions.

In the court genre, Paramount’s “Judge Joe Brown” grew 9 percent week to week to a national household rating of 3.8, according to Nielsen Media Research. The performance marked “Joe’s” second season high in four weeks and a 9 percent improvement over the same frame last year.

Twentieth’s “Divorce Court” grew 3 percent over the previous week to a season high of 3.1, Telepictures’ “People’s Court” was up 12 percent to a season high of 2.9 and Twentieth’s “Texas Justice” was up 5 percent to a season high of 2.3. Telepictures’ “Judge Mathis” grew 13 percent to a 2.7, its highest rating in more than four years. “Mathis” grew 29 percent year to year, the largest annual increase for any court show.

Genre leader “Judge Judy” from Paramount was down 2 percent to a 5.2 from the previous week’s season high, but “Judy” was still up 11 percent year to year.

Among talk shows, Telepictures’ “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” hit a series high for the second time in three weeks. “Ellen” was up 14 percent for the week to a 2.5, a 47 percent increase from the same week last season.

NBC Universal’s “Maury” was up 9 percent to a season high of 3.5, while Paramount’s “The Montel Williams Show” grew 8 percent week to week to a season high of 2.8. NBC Universal’s “Jerry Springer” was up 13 percent to a season high of 2.6 and Twentieth’s “Good Day Live” grew 22 percent to a season high of 1.1.

The top two talk shows both grew week to week as well. King World’s “The Oprah Winfrey Show” grew 5 percent to a 6.9 and was up 10 percent from its year-ago performance. “Oprah” spinoff “Dr. Phil” rebounded from a season low in the previous week to a 5.1, a 9 percent weekly increase. “Dr. Phil” was up 9 percent from last year.

The top two shows in syndication were unchanged for the week, with King World’s “Wheel of Fortune” bringing in an 8.6 and sister program “Jeopardy!” garnering a 7.2. The top entertainment newsmagazine, Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight,” was up 13 percent to a 5.1.

Among first-year strips, Paramount’s “The Insider” grew 12 percent from the previous week to a 2.8. The two new series that hit series highs were Twentieth’s “Ambush Makeover,” which grew 8 percent to a 1.3, and Telepictures’ “The Larry Elder Show,” which was up 20 percent to a 1.3.

NBC Universal’s “The Jane Pauley Show” was down 6 percent to a 1.6 for the week, Buena Vista’s “The Tony Danza Show” was unchanged at a 1.4, while both of Sony’s rookies-“Pat Croce: Moving In” (0.8) and “Life & Style” (0.6)-were unchanged.

All three of the top sitcom strips were down for the week, with King World’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” down 3 percent (6.5), Sony’s “Seinfeld” down 5 percent (5.9) and Warner Bros.’ “Friends” down 11 percent (5.5).

Among new off-nets, weekend one-hour “CSI” grew 10 percent week to week to a 5.7, while Twentieth’s half-hour strip “Malcolm in the Middle” dropped 6 percent to a 3.1. Paramount’s half-hour “Yes, Dear” grew 5 percent to a 2.0, and NBC Universal’s “Fear Factor” was down 5 percent to a 1.8. Paramount’s “Girlfriends” was unchanged for the week with a 1.6.