ET Weekend Tops Sweeps for Fourth Time


The results are in: Among weekly hours, Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight Weekend has easily won its fourth consecutive February sweeps with a 4.0 rating, up 60% from its nearest rival, NBC/MGM’s Stargate SG-1.

The week ended Feb. 29 included the third full week and the final weekend of the sweeps.ET Weekend equaled last year’s 4.0 household score, which was its highest since February 2001. Second place Stargate SG-1 was up 4% from February 2003 to 2.5, followed by Warner Bros.’ off-net ER, unchanged at 2.2.

After that, three shows tied for third place: Warner Bros.’ rookie The West Wing averaged a 2.1 in its first February book, along with Tribune’s Mutant X, down 9% and Twentieth’s The Practice, off 16%.

Some weeklies may have been hurt competing against or being preempted by coverage of the Academy Awards in some markets on Feb. 29, the final Sunday of the sweeps. Last year’s Oscarcast was held in late March, well outside the February sweeps.

Elsewhere during the week, most syndicated strips were little changed. Only three of the 17 talk shows were higher. King World’s Dr. Phil improved 2% to 5.7. Buena Vista’s Live with Regis & Kelly gained 2% to 4.1 and Sony’s Ricki Lake rose 8% to 1.4.

Further down the list, King World’s Martha Stewart Living at a 1.1 was down 8%, the week before a jury found her guilty of lying and obstructing justice, and off 21% from last year.

Four court shows were higher. Paramount’s Judge Joe Brown was up 3% to 3.8. Twentieth’s Divorce Court was up 4% to 2.7. Sony’s Judge Hatchett up 5% to 2.2 and Twentieth’s Texas Justice up 16% to 2.2.

In access, Entertainment Tonight was the only magazine to grow from the prior week gaining 2% to 6.2. King World’s Inside Edition at 3.8, Warner Bros.’ Extra! at 2.8 and Warner Bros.’ Celebrity Justice at 1.3 all were unchanged, while NBC Enterprises’ Access Hollywood at 3.2 in third place was down 3%.