By Staff -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/15/2002 7:00:00 PM
Friends Is Off-Net Champ
Although fewer viewers were watching TV during November sweeps, off-net sitcoms still fared well. Warner Bros.' top-rated Friends was up 11% in its fifth season to a 7.3.
Sony's second-place Seinfeld was up 6% to a 6.9 in its eighth season, attributed to a run on TBS this year. King World's Everybody Loves Raymond was up 16% to a 6.4 in its second season. Warner Bros.' rookie, Will & Grace, averaged a 4.4 in its first sweep, putting it in fourth place among the half-hour comedies. And Carsey-Werner-Mandabach's That '70s Show, another rookie, was in fifth with a 3.8.
Hatchett Will Be Back
Sony Pictures Television's Judge Hatchett has been renewed for next year in more than 85% of the country, said John Weiser, executive vice president of SPT. The show has been renewed in each of the top 10 markets and in 18 of the top 20 for its fourth season.
In the November sweeps, Judge Hatchett averaged a 1.6 national rating and did particularly well on Fox O&O WAGA(TV) in Atlanta at 10 a.m. with a 4.6/14, on Fox O&O WJBK(TV) Detroit at 10 a.m. with a 3.7/11 and on WB affiliate KHWB(TV) in Houston at 2 p.m. with a 2.7/8. Judge Hatchett focuses on family court, juvenile court and small-claims cases. Off the air, the show did some good, too. Last year, Hatchett set up a mentoring program so troubled kids could meet celebrities such as comedian, actor and radio-personality Steve Harvey and professional boxer Laila Ali.
Fox affiliate WTTG(TV) in Washington, D.C., has not taken Twentieth's The Rob Nelson Show off the air. Last October, the station moved Nelson to 10 a.m. from 3 p.m. and put two episodes of Paramount's Judge Joe Brown in its place. Sources expect the low-rated Rob Nelson Show to be canceled, but right now it's officially on hiatus.
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