Summer weather steals heat from syndies


A break in the bad summer weather that has been plaguing the East Coast gave
syndication a case of the summer blahs, making ratings generally stagnant in the
week ending Aug. 3.

Still, talk shows and the top weekly hours managed to see some gains. Of the
top one-dozen talk shows, eight were up, two were down and two were unchanged
from the prior week.

Universal Television’s Crossing Over with John Edward, which may have
seen this coming, had the largest rating increase among talkers, jumping 20% to

King World Productions’ Oprah, which remains the top talker, had the
biggest decline in the group, losing 10% to 5.3.

In second place, King World’s rookie, Dr. Phil, was up 2% to 4.3.
Universal’s Maury took third for the sixth time in the past seven weeks
with a 3.6, unchanged from the prior week. Right behind was Buena Vista
Television’s Live with Regis & Kelly, up 3% to 3.5. Universal’s
The Jerry Springer Show gained 7% to 2.9, followed by Paramount
Television’s Montel Williams, up 4% to 2.5.

Warner Bros.’ Jenny Jones, in its final weeks, picked up 5% to 2.1.
Sony Pictures Television’s Ricki Lake slipped 6% to 1.7. NBC Enterprises’
rookie, The John Walsh Show, rebounded from last week’s slide with a 17%
surge to 1.4. Martha Stewart Living cooked up an 8% increase to 1.3,
while Twentieth Television’s Good Day Live was flat at 1.0.

Four of the top six weekly hours were winners.

Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight Weekend was the No. 1 show for the
85th time in the past 86 weeks, gaining 10% to 3.3.

Runner-up Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.’s/NBC Enterprises’ Stargate SG-1
added 4% to 2.4, and Twentieth’s off-network World’s Wildest Police
climbed 15% to 2.3 in third.

In fourth place, three off-net dramas tied at 2.1: Twentieth’s Buffy the
Vampire Slayer
was up 11%, Twentieth’s The X-Files fell 9% and Warner
Bros.’ ER lost 22%.

Among the off-net sitcoms, Sony’s Seinfeld was the only show out of
the top seven to improve, taking sole possession of the top spot for the first
time in five weeks. Seinfeld was up 2% to 6.1.

Warner Bros.’ Friends -- which was tied for first with Seinfeld
the prior week -- dropped 5% to 5.7. King World’s Everybody Loves Raymond
was unchanged at 5.4.