Season victors and also-rans
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 9/22/2002 8:00:00 PM
Tried-and-true programs were the winners in the 2000-01 season syndication battle, with old standbys like Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, Friends and Seinfeld staying on top.
Wheel and Jeopardy remained the top two syndicated shows on the air, Wheel scoring an average 9.0 rating and Jeopardy a 7.6. Both shows were down compared with 2000-01: Wheel 7% and Jeopardy 5%.
Hollywood Squares and relationship strip Change of Heart lost the most ground. Declining 23% to a 2.7, King World's Hollywood Squares is under new management this year, headed by executive producers Henry Winkler and Michael Levitt. Telepictures Productions'Change of Heart has been facing declining ratings for two years now; in the 2000-01 season, it dropped 26% to a 1.4 rating.
Among the off-net comedies, Warner Bros.'Friends and Sony's Seinfeld remain atop the heap, and both saw double-digit ratings increases. Friends averaged a 6.7 rating last year, up 24%, and Seinfeld averaged a 6.1, up 30%.
In the magazine genre, Paramount's Entertainment Tonight continues to be the dominant program, holding a 5.8 average season-to-season. ET has been the No. 1 magazine in syndication for more than six years. Warner Bros.'Extra fell 10% in 2001-02 to a 2.7, while NBC Enterprises'Access Hollywood was up slightly with a 2.6 rating.
In talk shows, King World's Oprah remains the leader, although its average 5.6 for the season was down 5%. No. 2 talker Buena Vista's Live With Regis and Kelly had a 3.6 average, also off 5%. Other talk strips aren't holding up as well as Oprah and Regis and Kelly: Universal's Jerry Springer Show slid 22% to a 2.8, and Sony Domestic's Ricki Lake dropped 25% to a 1.8.
Paramount's Judge Judy at a 5.6 and Judge Joe Brown at a 3.3 are still the top two court shows. Both declined 8% in 2001-02. Twentieth Television's Divorce Court was down 7% at a 2.7, and Sony's Judge Hatchett decreased 15% to a 1.7.
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