Edgy and Successful
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/4/2004 7:00:00 PM
Entering its eighth season, NBC Enterprises'Access Hollywood received upgrades in nearly 50 markets, and the results were immediately apparent. November gave the show its best sweeps ever: a 3.2 national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research—a 14% jump year-to-year.
"Viewers realize they are going to get the true, non-tabloid, non-sensational story from Access Hollywood," says Rob Silverstein, who has executive-produced the show since its start. "Everything about our show is a little more edgy than our competition. We take more risks in the way we write things, and we like to have fun with the content."
This year, Access Hollywood is cleared in more access time periods than ever, some 55% of its clearances. By comparison, more than 90% of clearances for Paramount's Entertainment Tonight, the No. 1 magazine, are in access.
Besides national ratings, the show is performing in the key demographics as well. Year-to-year, Access Hollywood is up 27% in women 18-34, 17% in women 18-49 and 20% in women 25-54. It's also up 8% among men 18-49 and 15% among men 25-54, although it's down 10% among men 18-34, a demo group that has been particularly elusive this year.
The show is up most substantially among teens, jumping 40% year-to-year, which bodes well for the show's future.
"We're making fun of the absurdity of Hollywood," Silverstein says. "We know it's overhyped, and we make fun of ourselves as well as what we're covering. I think the audience appreciates it. The younger audience definitely appreciates it because they tell us so."
Access Hollywood always has performed best in the top-five markets where NBC owns strong stations. On WNBC-TV New York, KNBC-TV Los Angeles, WMAQ-TV Chicago, WCAU-TV Philadelphia and KNTV-TV San Francisco, it cumulatively beats genre leader Entertainment Tonight and Warner Bros.' Extra, averaging a 4.6 rating/7 share in those markets, vs. ET's 3.9/6 and Extra's 3.8/7.
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