Cold Weather, Hot Ratings
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 2/9/2003 7:00:00 PM
Cold weather helped syndicators for the week ended Jan. 26, as people stayed indoors to avoid the freeze that hit the eastern half of the U.S., and stayed at home to keep warm on Martin Luther King Day. As a result, TV usage levels and ratings shot up.
Several shows started the February sweeps with season highs, including King World's Dr. Phil at a 5.4 rating, only two-tenths of a Nielsen ratings point less than the syndicator's top talker, Oprah, which at a 5.6 declined 2% week-to-week. Dr. Phil also started last week out with a bang, scoring a 5.9 rating/15 share in the metered markets for its Monday, Feb. 3, show.
Dr. Phil wasn't the only new show to hit season highs, with NBC Enterprises'John Walsh up 7% week-to-week to a 1.6, Warner Bros.' Caroline Rhea up 22% to a 1.1, and Twentieth's brand-new entry, Good Day Live, up 25% to a 1.0. All were bests for each show.
Among the new game shows, Buena Vista's Who Wants To Be a Millionaire was up 9% to a season high of 3.6, while Sony's Pyramid was up 5% to a 2.1. The cold weather brought good news to the veteran game shows as well, with King World's Wheel of Fortune up 4% to a whopping 10.2 and its Jeopardy up 7% to an 8.0.
Among the rookie reality strips, Warner Bros.' Celebrity Justice moved up 8% to a 1.4, while Paramount's Life Moments, which was recently downgraded on several NBC owned-and-operated stations, decreased to a 0.7 rating.
Paramount's Entertainment Tonight jumped 8% to match its season high of 6.4. King World's Inside Edition was down 3% to a 3.6, while NBC's Access Hollywood jumped 14% to a season-high 3.2, with shows on the Golden Globe Awards, the Sundance Film Festival, and pre-Super Bowl activities. Warner Bros.' Extra was up 7% to match its season-high 3.0.
Finally, several off-net sitcoms all hit or matched their season highs. Sony's Seinfeld was up 1% and tied Warner Bros.' Friends, which was up 4%, with each logging a 7.9. King World's Everybody Loves Raymond was up 6% to a season high 7.0.
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