Top Talkers Posting Year-to-Year Gains

Jun 13, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The top-rated syndicated talk strips and the game show “Jeopardy!” posted year-to-year ratings growth during May sweeps, while the entertainment newsmagazines and courtroom shows turned in mixed performances.

Decliners included most off-network strips and dating shows.

King World’s “The Oprah Winfrey Show” grew 11 percent from last year’s May sweeps to hit an 8.0 national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. The highest-rated day for “Oprah” during the 2005 May sweeps was on May 23, when the infamous hour-long interview with actor Tom Cruise drew a 9.3 daily rating.

“Oprah” spinoff “Dr. Phil” grew 4 percent May sweeps to May sweeps to a 5.8, while Buena Vista’s “Live With Regis and Kelly” was up 3 percent from last May to a 3.5. NBC Universal’s “Maury” was up 3 percent to a 3.0.

Besides “Oprah,” the only other talk strip to boast double-digit growth was Warner Bros.’ sophomore “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which grew 11 percent May sweeps to May sweeps to a 2.1. The only talk rookie returning for next season, Buena Vista’s “The Tony Danza Show,” grew 8 percent from its premiere week in September to a 1.3 for the sweeps.

King World’s “Jeopardy!,” which featured a tournament of past champions during May sweeps, was up 10 percent over last year to a 7.4. The top-rated program in syndication, King World’s “Wheel of Fortune,” was down 1 percent from last May sweeps to an 8.2.

The top newsmagazine, Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight,” was even with last year’s May sweeps with a 5.1. King World’s “Inside Edition,” which garnered a 3.3 rating, was also flat. “ET” spinoff “The Insider” was the top rookie for May sweeps with a 2.7, a 13 percent increase over its debut-week average in September.

NBC Universal’s “Access Hollywood” was down 7 percent for May sweeps to a 2.6, while Warner Bros.’ “Extra” dropped 15 percent sweeps to sweeps to a 2.2.

The highest-rated courtroom strip was Paramount’s “Judge Judy,” which declined 2 percent from the last May sweeps to a 4.8. Paramount’s “Judge Joe Brown” was down 3 percent to a 3.3, while Twentieth’s “Divorce Court” grew 12 percent to a 2.8. Warner Bros.’ “People’s Court” grew 8 percent to a 2.7, while Warner Bros.’ “Judge Mathis” was up 9 percent for May sweeps to a 2.5. Sony’s “Judge Hatchett” was down 19 percent to a 1.7.

The recently renewed NBC Universal strip “Blind Date” was down 27 percent for the sweeps to a 1.1, while Warner Bros.’ “Elimidate” was off 21 percent, also to a 1.1.

Among off-network strips, the only major half-hour to see growth for the sweeps was King World’s “Everybody Loves Raymond,” which grew 19 percent to a 6.4. Sony’s “Seinfeld” was down 2 percent from last May sweeps to a 5.8, while Warner Bros.’ “Friends” dropped 7 percent for the sweeps to a 5.2. Twentieth’s “That ’70s Show” declined 14 percent from last May to a 3.0, while Twentieth’s “King of the Hill” dropped 9 percent to a 2.9.

The top off-network weekly hour was King World’s rookie “CSI,” which grew 21 percent over its premiere week performance to a 5.2. Among first-run weekly hours, Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight Weekend” was the top performer, despite dropping 9 percent from last May to a 3.1.