Merv Griffin Tributes Boost Slow Syndie Week


Only four syndicated programs were up during the slow summer week of Aug. 19: CBS’ Rachael Ray, CBS’ Montel Williams, CBS’ The Insider and Warner Bros.’ Extra!

The four entertainment magazines were the only genre to see much growth, with ratings bumps coming from coverage of the death of entertainment king Merv Griffin.

CBS’ The Insider got the biggest boost, jumping 5% to a 2.2 weekly household rating, according to Nielsen. On Monday, Aug. 13, the day that the magazines dedicated to Griffin coverage, The Insider’s ratings jumped 19% to a 2.5. Warner Bros.’ Extra!, the other magazine show to be up for the entire week, improved 6% to a 1.8 for the week and for Monday.

CBS’ Entertainment Tonight, the genre leader, dropped 2 % to 4.2 for the week, but jumped 9% on Monday to a 4.7. NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood was unchanged for the week at a 2.3, but saw a 4% boost on Monday to a 2.4. CBS’ Inside Edition, the only general entertainment magazine, was down 3% for the week to a 3.0.

In daytime, Rachael Ray and Montel were the only two first-run strips out of 22 to see improvements. Rachael Ray, fifth among all talk shows, was up 6% to a 1.8, driven largely by a repeat episode featuring Julie Andrews on Aug. 16 that rated a 2.0. CBS’ eighth-ranked Montel Williams also improved a bit, jumping 8% to a 1.4 after a series-low the prior week.

CBS’ Oprah was flat at a 4.4. CBS’ Dr. Phil was also unchanged at a 3.7. In third place, Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis and Kelly was down 3% to a 2.9, followed by NBC Universal’s Maury, which was down 9% to a 2.0. In fifth place, Warner Bros.’ Ellen was down 12% to a 1.5, tying NBC Universal’s Jerry Springer, which fell 6%.

Among shows still in trial runs in test markets, Twentieth’s The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet earned a 1.4 rating/5 share in its 34 metered markets, unchanged from the previous week. (Mike and Juliet will roll out nationally in less than a month.) NBC Universal’s iVillage Live, in repeats, averaged a 0.4 rating/1 share in its 12 metered markets, a 25% drop from the prior week. NBC Universal is retooling iVillage Live and relaunching it on Sept. 17.

All of the nine court shows were down or flat for the week.  CBS’ Judge Judy remained the top judge with a 4.5, unchanged, followed by CBS’ Judge Joe Brown, down 7% to a 2.7. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was down 4% to a 2.4. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis was flat at a 2.3. Twentieth’s Divorce Court was down 10% to a 1.8. Twentieth’s Judge Alex was flat at a 1.8. Sony’s Judge Hatchett fell 7% to a 1.3. Twentieth’s Cristina’s Court fell 8% to a 1.2 and finally, Sony’s Judge Maria Lopez was down 11% to a 0.8.