The end of daylight savings time last week -- which is eagerly anticipated
by television executives -- drove up the ratings of syndicated shows in general
and those that run in access slots in particular, according to national Nielsen
Media Research ratings for the week ending Nov. 3.
The top six off-network sitcoms all experienced ratings rises, bringing all of
them to season highs. Sitcom leader Friends, from Warner Bros., was up
7 percent to a 7.3; Sony Pictures Television's Seinfeld was up 11 percent to a 7.2; King
World Productions' Everybody Loves Raymond was up 10 percent to a 6.7; Warner
Bros.' Will & Grace was up 10 percent to a 4.4; Carsey-Werner-Mandabach's
That 70s Show was up 16 percent to a 3.7; and Buena Vista Television's Home
Improvement was up 6 percent to a 3.5.
The access entertainment magazines also hit some highs. Paramount's
Entertainment Tonight, the ratings leader in the genre for more than six
years, scored its highest rating in 30 weeks and moved up 9 percent to a
6.1. Warner Bros.' Extra increased 12 percent, also to a new season high
of 2.9. And NBC Enterprises' Access Hollywood jumped 13 percent to a 2.7.
Only King World's Inside Edition remained unchanged at a 3.2, but in
second place in the genre.
Among the game shows, King World's pair of leaders, Wheel of Fortune
and Jeopardy!, each were up. Wheel increased 8 percent to hit
a season high of 9.6 and Jeopardy! jumped 6 percent to a 7.4. In third
place, Buena Vista's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire leapt 11 percent to
hit a 3.0, a season high. Fourth place Hollywood Squares, from King
World, also hit a season high with a 2.7, a 17 percent increase.
In relationship shows, Universal Television's Blind Date remained steady at a
1.7, which equals the show's highest rating. Warner Bros.' Elimidate was
up 7 percent to a 1.6, and Universal's The Fifth Wheel was up 8
percent to a 1.3.
Among the talkers, Oprah was
up 9 percent week-to-week to a 5.9, which marks the
first time this season since premiere week that Oprah has shown a year-to-year
increase, jumping 4 percent over
last year. King World's Dr. Phil remains in second place, but
it dropped 5 percent to a 4.2. Buena Vista's Live with Regis and Kelly was up 6 percent to a new season high of 3.5, although that's down 15
percent from last year. And Universal's Maury jumped again last week,
increasing 7 percent to a 3.1 and giving Maury a 3 percent bump
In court shows, two Paramount Television programs led the pack, with Judge Judy
up 8 percent last week to a season high of 5.2 but down 9 percent from
last year. Judge Joe Brown also hit a season high with a 3.5, and it is up
9 percent over last year.
Finally, the No. 1 weekly hour remains Paramount's ET, which was up 6 percent to a 3.4 and also up 3
percent over last year.