Flat Note for Syndie Shows


The vast majority of syndicated shows were flat to down for the week ending Jan. 16 as students returned to school and milder weather sent viewers outside and HUT (homes using television) levels dropped another 3% after sliding 6% the week before.

For example, only two of the more than 25 daytime strips were up: NBC Universal’s Starting Over and Buena Vista’s Live with Regis and Kelly.

Starting Over bucked the downtrend, scoring a 20% increase to equal its all-time series high of 1.2. Starting Over peaked for the week on Friday, Jan. 14, reaching a total audience of 2.09 million households. In the women 18-34 demo it was up 38% to a 1.1, with a new season high in women 25-54, up 22% to another 1.1. Ratings for the strip are also 20% higher than last year at this time.

Regis and Kelly was up 6% to a 3., to rank third among talk shows. King World’s top talker, The Oprah Winfrey Show, was in repeats, down 14% to a still-stellar 7.4, which is up a tick, 1%, from last year. Also in repeats, King World’s Dr. Phil fell 7% to a 5.2, but was still up 2% year-to-year.

None of the seven courtroom shows were higher. The leading jurist, Paramount’s Judge Judy, was down 2% to a 5.4, still up 8% from last year. Paramount’s Judge Joe Brown was second, down 3% week-to-week but up 12% year-to-year.

Paramount’s The Insider, the rookie champ for the past 18 weeks, was down 7% to a 2.8, after hitting a new series high the prior week. Meanwhile, the show’s weekly version, Paramount’s Insider Weekend, scored its highest ratings ever, a 2.3, up 10%.

None of the other newcomers were in the plus column. NBC Universal’s The Jane Pauley Show was unchanged at a 1.7, again matching its series high first set four weeks ago.

Buena Vista’s The Tony Danza Show was down 14% to a 1.2, although stations representing more than 70% of the country have already signed on for year two. Twentieth’s Ambush Makeover was down 9% to a 1.0. Warner Bros.’ Larry Elder was unchanged at a 1.0. Sony’s Pat Croce: Moving In was unchanged at a 0.7. And Sony’s Life & Style was down 17% to a 0.5.