As Regis Philbin heads into bypass surgery this week , he does so with the good news that his Live With Regis and Kelly was the only talk show to see year-over-year growth during the recently-completed February sweeps period.
The sweep was also kind to the newsmagazine genre, which capitalized on the tabloid-friendly Anna Nicole Smith story. And the crowded court genre got some positive verdicts as well.
Regis and Kelly
was up 3% on the year to a 3.7, according to the national household ratings for February 1-February 28.
Elsewhere in talk, Oprah was flat at a 7.2, Dr. Phil was off just 2% at a 5.4 and Ellen (even) and Maury (down 13%) tied for fourth in the genre at 2.6.
led the magazine category with a 6.3, up 15% on the year as the show rode the Anna Nicole Smith death and aftermath to its best February average in four years. Inside Edition was up 8% to a 4.0, Access Hollywood rose 24% to a 3.1, The Insider was flat at a 3.0 and Extra was up 4% to a 2.5.
The competitive court genre got some good news, with the top four shows all steady or up on the year. Judge Judy led the way with a 5.1 average, up 4%, with Judge Joe Brown next at a 3.4, a 6% bump. People’s Court was steady at a 3.0 while Judge Mathis rose 12% to a 2.8.
And in game shows, Who Wants to be a Millionaire continued its Meredith Vieira-led hot streak, gaining 12% to a 3.7. Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! each rose 1% to a 9.0 and 7.3, respectively, while Family Feud was off 5% to a 2.1.