Sweeps Look Good for Syndies


Rookies, game shows and magazines all hit season highs during the week ending Nov. 16, which included the second full week of sweeps.

Three of the four new first-run strips had their highest ratings ever this week. Warner Bros.’ The Ellen DeGeneres Show led the pack with its best week yet, hitting a 1.7 rating, an increase of 6% for the week and a jump of 21% in the past two weeks. Warner Bros.’ The Sharon Osbourne Show was down 6% after hitting a new high the week before.

King World’s Living It Up! With Ali & Jack and NBC Enterprises’ Starting Over were each up 10% to 1.1, which were new highs for both shows. Buena Vista’s The Wayne Brady Show was unchanged at 1.0.

Among game shows, both Buena Vista’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and Sony’s Pyramid scored new all-time highs. Millionaire earned a 3.8, a 41% increase year-to-year, making it the most improved strip in syndication. For the week, the series was up 9%. Pyramid at a 2.2 was up 22% from last year and up 16% for the week.

Hitting new season highs were King World’s Jeopardy, up 6% to 7.6 and King World’s Hollywood Squares, up 9% to 2.4. King World’s Wheel of Fortune, the top game and the highest-rated show in syndication, was down 2% to 9.4.

Most magazines continued to rise for a third straight week, while three of the top four notched new season highs. Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight was the number-one magazine with a 3% gain to a 6.3, its best rating since last February.

King World’s Inside Edition was up 6% to 3.8 and Warner Bros.’ Extra rose 4% to 2.7. But not all magazines faired as well: NBC Enterprises’ Access Hollywood was off 3% to 3.1 and Warner Bros.’ Celebrity Justice fell 8% to 1.2.

In daytime, the top talk and court shows were mixed, but the big four veteran talkers were all up over last year. King World’s Oprah, at a season high 7.7, was up 24% year-to-year to hit the show’s highest ratings since November 1998. Oprah also was up 13% from the prior week.

King World’s Dr. Phil at 5.7 was up 19% year to year, despite being down 3% from the prior week. Buena Vista’s Live with Regis & Kelly at 4.0 was up 18% year to year, after an 8% week to week increase and Universal’s Maury, at a season-high 3.4, was up 3% year to year, a 10% weekly increase.

For the first time this season, Paramount’s weekly movie review show Hot Ticket beat rival Buena Vista’s Ebert & Roeper at the Movies. Hot Ticket was up 25% to 1.5, while Ebert & Roeper was down 30% to 1.4.