Competition from cable news coverage of the capture of the Washington,
D.C.-area snipers translated into lower ratings for all of the top-rated
syndicated strips for the week ending Oct. 27, while driving up cable viewing by
All of the top-rated entertainment strips were down except Paramount
Television's Entertainment Tonight, which was flat with a 5.6.
King World Productions' Inside Edition fell 9 percent to a 3.2, NBC
Enterprises' Extra was down 4 percent to a 2.6 and Warner Bros.'
Access Hollywood was down 11 percent to a 2.4.
Three of the top four talk shows were also down, with King World's
Oprah declining 8 percent to hit a season low of 5.4. So far this season,
Oprah is down 7 percent from last year season-to-date, but down 13
percent from last year season-to-date on Tuesdays, when Dr. Phil used to appear
on the show.
Last week, Dr. Phil's self-titled new show was the only top talker not to
decline, holding at a 4.4, which matches its season high.
Meanwhile, Buena Vista Television's Live with Regis & Kelly and
Universal Studios' Maury each decreased 3 percent week-to-week, Live
to a 3.3 and Maury to a 2.9. But season-to-date, Maury is the
only talk show to grow, increasing its ratings by 12 percent over last year.
For game shows, King World's top-performing trio of Wheel of Fortune
was down 6 percent to an 8.9, Jeopardy! was down 5 percent to a 7.0 and
Hollywood Squares was down 4 percent to a 2.3.
The two newcomers -- Buena Vista's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and
Sony Pictures Television's Pyramid -- both remained flat at a 2.7 and a
1.7, respectively, but Millionaire's 2.7 maintains the show at a
season-high number and gives it third place among all daily game shows.
In sitcoms, Warner Bros.' No. 1 Friends was down 3 percent to a 6.8
and Sony's Seinfeld was down 2 percent to a 6.5, while King World's
Everybody Loves Raymond and Warner Bros.' Will & Grace both
were flat at a respective 6.1 and 4.0.
Among court shows, Paramount's Judge Judy dropped 4 percent to a 4.8,
while most of the rest of the court shows stayed flat.
Weekly hours were the only category that saw an upswing last week, even
against games six and seven of the World Series in many markets.
Paramount's ET Weekend, which has hogged the No. 1 spot to itself for
46 consecutive weeks, was up 7 percent to a 3.2. Tribune Entertainment's
Mutant X was up 19 percent to a new season high of 2.5. MGM/NBC
Enterprises' Stargate SG1 increased 4 percent to a 2.4, also a season
high. And Warner Bros.' ER was up 10 percent to a 2.3.