Regis is up, other talkers down


Sorry Kathie Lee fans. Kelly Ripa has rocked through her first week in syndication as new co-host of newly re-christened Live with Regis and Kelly.

For the period ending Feb. 18, the talk show grabbed a 4.3 household rating, a 10% jump over the same time last year when Lee was at Regis' side, according to Nielsen Media Research. And great for a sweeps month, Live was also up 8% from last week.

In contrast, all other talkers did worse compared to their year-ago performances, with six strips dropping by double digits. Falling hardest were Jerry Springer (3.7, down 20% from last year), Maury (3.6, down 12%), Rosie (2.9, down 31%), Sally (2.5, down 26%), Jenny Jones (2.2, down 12%) and Martha Stewart (1.5, down 12%). Looking at the other guys, leader Oprah (6.5) slipped 7% from last year. She was followed by Montel (3.4, down 8%), Ricki (2.5, down 7%) and Queen Latifah (1.3, flat).

Besides Live, other shows on rolls, moving well from where they were the same time last year, are Blind Date (2.3) climbing 21% to reach a new season high and Entertainment Tonight (4.9) popping 53% from last year.

Elsewhere in syndication, the rookie strips turned in mixed results. As for the top three, Power (2.6) jumped 8%, Hatchett (2.2) stayed flat, and Arrest & Trial (1.8) slipped 5%. Also-rans in that group were Street Smarts (1.7, down 6%), Curtis Court (1.7, down 6%), To Tell the Truth (1.7, flat), Dr. Laura (0.9, flat), Moral Court (0.9, up 13%), Mars, Venus (0.7, flat) and Sex Wars (hitting a new 0.5 season low, down 17%).

Court shows were arguably more stable with none losing ground from last week. Topper Judge Judy (6.6) was flat, Judge Joe Brown (4.0) edged up 8%, Divorce Court (3.2) hopped up 3%, Judge Greg Mathis (2.2) was flat, People's Court (2.0) perked up 5% and Judge Mills Lane (1.8) stayed the same. But several strips were down from the same time last year, with People's Court (down 29%) and Judge Mills Lane (down 28%) taking the biggest hits.
- Susanne Ault