Court shows hold off war and sunlight


Court shows were the one bright spot in the week ending April 13, as every
court show moved up in a week where war coverage and daylight savings time
pulled most of syndication downward.

Viewers were either away from their sets and enjoying the extra hour of
sunlight or watching the fall of Baghdad on cable, with news networks' viewing
jumping 10 percent from the prior week.

But colder-than-normal weather in the Northeast and the beginning of spring
break seemed to bring some different daytime viewers to their sets.

Four of the seven court shows were up by double-digits.

Paramount Television's Judge Joe Brown gained 10 percent to 3.4.
Twentieth Television's Divorce Court, coming off its lowest rating of the
season, was up 17 percent to 2.8. Twentieth's Texas Justice, also
bouncing off a season low, gained 21 percent to 2.3. Warner Bros.' Judge Greg
surged 12 percent to 1.9.

As for the others, genre leader Paramount's Judge Judy added 2 percent
to 4.8. Warner Bros.' People's Court was up 5 percent to 2.1. And Sony
Pictures Television's Judge Hatchett advanced 7 percent to 1.6.

Elsewhere, game shows, magazines and talk were all over the map.

King World Productions' Wheel of Fortune, the top game show, fell 9
percent to 8.5.

King World's Jeopardy! was down 5 percent to 6.9. Buena Vista
Television's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was up 3 percent to 3.3. King
World's Hollywood Squares gained 4 percent to 2.4. Sony's Pyramid
was up 6 percent to 1.9. Tribune Television's Family Feud was unchanged
at 1.7.

Also in access, Paramount's Entertainment Tonight, the No. 1 magazine
show, was up 2 percent to 5.3.

King World's Inside Edition was flat at 3.2. Warner Bros.'
Extra gained 4 percent to 2.5, but NBC Enterprises' Access
fell 11 percent to 2.4.

In daytime, talk shows were clearly mixed.

King World's Oprah, the top talker, gained 4 percent to 5.1 after
hitting a new season low the prior week.

But King World's Dr. Phil slipped 4 percent to 4.4. Buena Vista's
Live with Regis and Kelly, in repeats for the week, plunged 17 percent to
a new season low of 2.9. Universal Television's Maury tied Regis and
at a 2.9, up 4 percent for the week.