Sweeps Look Good for Syndies

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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.