Ellen, Inside Edition Bright Lights in Weak Syndie Sweep


The May sweep did not bring much good news for most syndicated shows, according to the national household live-plus-same-day ratings, as only two first-run strips posted year-over-year gains from April 27-May 24. Every show except for Ellen (up 10%) and Inside Edition (up 3%) was either down or flat from May sweep to May sweep.

Many of the declines were in line with overall broadcasting viewership numbers, which fell 12% from the same period last year.

King World Productions had the top-five-rated strips during the period, which it says is the first time one distributor has ever claimed the top five spots during a single sweep period.

Despite Ellen’s success story, the talk-show genre as a whole did not have a good period.Oprah was on top as usual, but its 7.1 average rating was off 11% from last year.Dr. Phil was down 5% to a 5.5, Live with Regis and Kelly fell 6% to a 3.3 and Maury fell 13% to a 2.6.

Ellen’s 10% bump left the show with a 2.3 average, while Montel was down 17% to a 2.0 and The Jerry Springer Show dropped 18% to a 1.8.Starting Over actually held steady for the period at a 1.1, while the cancelled Tony Danza plummeted 23% to a 1.0.

Of the rookie talkers, Tyra Banks averaged a 1.7 for its first May sweep, while Martha cooked up a 1.5.

Magazines had the smallest declines of any genre, even though the entertainment shows’ numbers were compared to last May, in which the American Idol Paula Abdul-Corey Clark made for great tabloid fodder.

Entertainment Tonight won its 63rd sweeps period in a row, even though it was down 4% on the year to a 4.9.Inside Edition’s 3% bump gave it a 3.4 average, followed by The Insider’s 2.6, down 4% on the year.Access Hollywood was also off 4% to a 2.5, while Extra held steady at a 2.2.

Judge Judy led the way in court as usual, its 4.6 average off 4% on the year.Judge Joe Brown was next with a 3.0 average, down 9% on the year, while People’s Court was even at a 2.7.Divorce Court closed down 7% to a 2.6, Judge Mathis was off 8% to a 2.3 and Judge Hatchett was even at a 1.7.Rookie Judge Alex averaged a 2.1 in its first May sweep.

All four game shows were off for the month.Wheel of Fortune led the way with a 7.8, down 5% on the year.Jeopardy! dropped 14% to a 6.4, Who Wants To Be a Millionaire was off 3% to a 3.2, and Family Feud was down 5% to a 2.0 in its last May sweep before John O’Hurley steps into the hosting role.

In dating shows, Blind Date was steady at a 1.1, while Elimidate dropped 18% to a 0.9.

In off-net sitcoms, Everybody Loves Raymond was on top with a 5.5, down 14% from last year.Seinfeld fell 10% to a 5.2, while Friends tumbled 13% to a 4.5.