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Mixed Results for Key Strips

Feb 28, 2005  •  Post A Comment

For the first full week of February sweeps, most of the major syndicated strips saw improvement from the previous week, but results were mixed when compared with year-ago performance.

The big standout for the week ended Feb. 13 was NBC Universal’s “Starting Over,” which grew 18 percent to a 1.3 weekly household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. Besides winning the distinction of being the only strip to hit a series high, “Starting Over” also grew 30 percent over its performance for the week in 2004, the biggest improvement of any strip in any genre.

All top-five talk strips were up for the week, with genre leader “The Oprah Winfrey Show” from King World growing 9 percent for the week to an 8.4. That was up 8 percent from last year. “Oprah” spinoff “Dr. Phil” grew 2 percent for the week to a 5.6, dropping 2 percent from its year-ago performance. Buena Vista’s “Live With Regis and Kelly” grew 3 percent for the week to a 3.7, down 8 percent from last year. NBC Universal’s “Maury” grew 6 percent to a 3.3 week to week and was up 6 percent from last year.

Among game shows, King World’s “Wheel of Fortune” took the top spot in the genre and in all of syndication with a 9.7, down 1 percent from the previous week. “Wheel” was still up 1 percent compared with last year. King World’s “Jeopardy!” grew 4 percent for the week to an 8.2, which was up 8 percent from last year. Buena Vista’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” was up 6 percent to a 3.8, which was even with its year-ago performance. Tribune’s “Family Feud” was up 5 percent to a 2.1, down 9 percent from last year.

In the court genre, performances were strong across the board. Paramount’s “Judge Judy” was up 4 percent for the week to a 5.4, growing 2 percent from last year. Paramount’s “Judge Joe Brown” was unchanged for the week with a 3.7, but up 3 percent from last year’s performance. Twentieth’s “Divorce Court” was up 4 percent for the week to a 2.9, a 12 percent increase over last year. Telepictures’ “People’s Court” was close behind with a 2.8, up 8 percent for the week and 17 percent for the year.

Newsmagazines were all down for the year, with genre leader “Entertainment Tonight” from Paramount down 7 percent from 2004 but up 6 percent for the week with a 5.6. King World’s “Inside Edition” was unchanged for the week with a 3.8 and down 3 percent year to year. NBC Universal’s “Access Hollywood” was down 4 percent for the week to a 2.3 and dropped 21 percent from last year. Telepictures’ “Celebrity Justice” was unchanged for the week with a 1.1 and down 15 percent from last year.

Most rookie strips were up for the week, with Paramount’s “The Insider” growing 8 percent from the previous week to a 2.8. NBC Universal’s “The Jane Pauley Show” was up 6 percent for the week to a 1.7, while Buena Vista’s “The Tony Danza Show” was down 7 percent to a 1.3. Twentieth’s “Ambush Makeover” and Telepictures’ “The Larry Elder Show” both grew 10 percent to score 1.1 ratings for the week, while Sony’s “Pat Croce: Moving In” was down 14 percent to a 0.6. Sony’s “Life & Style” was flat for the week with a 0.5.

The top rookie off-network strip, Twentieth’s “Malcolm in the Middle,” was down 3 percent to a 3.6. Twentieth’s “Yes, Dear” was unchanged with a 1.9, and NBC Universal’s “Fear Factor” was flat with a 1.8. Paramount’s “Girlfriends” was up 7 percent to a 1.6. Among all off-network strips, King World’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” led the genre with a 7.3, down 3 percent for the week but up 26 percent year to year.

The sole rookie hour weekly, King World’s “CSI,” was up 2 percent to a 5.5.