Access shows jumped in the national Nielsen Media Research ratings after
Thanksgiving, with viewers returning to their day-to-day routines after the
"Most of the access magazines, game shows and off-net sitcoms came out of the
November sweep on fire," one analyst said.
All of the access news magazines were up in the week ending Dec. 8. The
leader in the genre, Paramount's Entertainment Tonight, hit a new
season-high with a 6.4, up 3 percent for the week and 7 percent year-to-year.
That marks the 334th consecutive week, or a little more than six
years, that ET was the No. 1 newsmagazine in access.
In second place, King World Productions' Inside Edition also hit a season high,
up 19 percent week-to-week to 3.7 and 16 percent
Third place was a tie between Warner Bros.' Extra, which was up 13
percent from the prior week with a 2.7, and NBC's Access Hollywood, which
was up 17 percent over the prior week. Extra was down 4 percent from last
year, while Access Hollywood was unchanged year-to-year.
Among the game shows, King World's Wheel of Fortune was up 19 percent
to a 9.5 and down a mere 1 percent year-to-year. King World's Jeopardy! was up 17 percent to a 7.6 and down 7 percent from last year.
In third place, Buena Vista Television's rookie entry, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, was up 3 percent to a 3.0, equaling its best score ever.
King World's Hollywood Squares was up 8 percent to a 2.6 but down 10
percent from last year, and Sony Pictures Television's Pyramid was unchanged week-to-week at
The top five off-net sitcoms all scored above a 4 rating, with big
week-to-week jumps for all five.
Warner Bros.' Friends was up 23 percent to a 7.4, inching up 4 percent
over last year. Friends reclaimed the top spot by a tenth of a point from
No. 2 sitcom Sony's Seinfeld, which was up 20 percent week-to-week to a
season-high 7.3 and up 7 percent from last year.
In third place, King World's Everybody Loves Raymond was up 18 percent
to a 6.5, up 10 percent over last year.
In fourth place, Warner Bros. rookie Will & Grace was up 13
percent to a 4.4, and Carsey-Werner-Mandabach's That 70s Show lept 21 percent to a
new high of 4.1.