Court-related series currently rule the roost among first-run rookies-
Power of Attorney,
Arrest & Trial
are usually the top-three ratings grabbers-and the new guys are apparently putting some strain on the genre's veterans.
Just one returning court strip, Twentieth Television's
Divorce Court, has bettered its performance over the comparable period last year. For the week ended Oct. 22, according to Nielsen Media Research,
nabbed a 3.3, a 14% jump over '99 and a 3% hop from the previous week.
"You can never underestimate the benefit of having an early start," says Twentieth Executive Vice President and General Sales Manager Paul Franklin, who launched
Divorce Court, as well as
Power of Attorney
(2.5, up 4% from the previous period and 19% over its debut) in August. "That gave us two to three weeks of mometum" over the other court strips, which premiered in September and October.
Franklin also notes
Divorce Court's being slotted on stronger stations and better time periods than last year-it recently won a third run on FOX O & O wtxf at 5:30 p.m.-"which shows why we're building compared with others."
still leads the field (6.7, up 3% from the previous week) but is down 11% from last year. First runner-up
Judge Joe Brown
(3.9, up 3%) is flat from 1999. In worse shape, posting double-digit percentage losses from last year, are
(1.9), which has dropped 24% from 1999, and
Judge Mills Lane
(1.6), which has slumped 27%.
are down 5% and 11%, respectively, from the previous week. Other court vet,
Judge Greg Mathis,
has slipped 9% both from last year's comparable period and from last week.
Power of Attorney, making the biggest inroad into the gavel circuit, is
(1.9, down 10% from the previous week),
(1.5, down 6%) and
(0.8, up 14%). Not straight court but carrying similar themes is
Arrest & Trial