Syndication Ratings: Jackson, Fawcett Deaths Lift Magazine Ratings

'ET' scores best ratings since May sweeps

Coverage of the Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett deaths on June 25 sent ratings skyrocketing across almost all magazine shows for the week ending June 28. CBS Television Distribution's Entertainment Tonight was the highest-rated show in the genre with a 4.0, its best ratings since the May sweep. That was a 14% increase from the week before driven by a 43% spike to a 5.0 for its Jackson and Fawcett coverage on Thursday June 25. In addition, ET was the only magazine up over last year at this time.

CTD's Inside Edition jumped 8% to a second-place 2.7. NBCU's Access Hollywood was up 6% to a 1.9 in third place, getting a 22% boost to a 2.2 on Thursday. ET's sister show, CTD's The Insider, was up 20% to 1.8, its highest ratings in eight weeks, after seeing gains of 33% on June 25 (to a 2.0) and 40% on the 26 (to a 2.1). Meanwhile, Warner Bros.' TMZ was down 5% to a 1.8, and was the only magazine to decline for the week, landing in a fourth place tie with the Insider even though the TMZ web site was widely credited with breaking the news of Jackson's death. Warner Bros.' Extra added 14% to a 1.6.

Elsewhere, syndication showed few increases, although CTD's Judge Judy at 3.8 leapfrogged over CTD's Oprah (3.6) for the lead among all daytime shows, despite the fact that both programs were in repeats. CTD's Judge Joe Brown was down 5% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.' People's Court and Twentieth's Judge Alex were unchanged at 1.9 and 1.4 respectively. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis was down 7% to 1.3. Twentieth's Divorce Court slipped 8% to 1.2. Twentieth's Christina's Court fell 11% to 0.8. Sony's Judge David Young dropped 13% to 0.7.

Among the talk shows, Oprah held on to the lead but was the only gabber to decline for the week, fading 8% to a new season-low 3.6. CTD's Dr. Phil held firm at 2.7. Disney/ABC's Live With Regis and Kelly was unchanged at 2.3. NBCU's Maury gained 6% to 1.7. Warner Bros.' Ellen Degeneres was up 7% to 1.6. CTD's Rachael Ray held even at 1.4. NBCU's Jerry Springer, Steve Wilkos (NBCU), Twentieth's The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet, and NBCU's Martha Stewart were all unchanged at 1.1, 1.0, 0.7, and 0.6 respectively. Warner Bros.' Tyra Banks rose 11% to 1.0.

CTD's The Doctors was the rookie ratings champ for the 23rd straight week, holding steady at 1.6. NBCU's Deal Or No Deal was also even at 1.4. Sony's Judge Karen grabbed sole possession of third place, holding firm at 0.8. Warner Bros.' Bonnie Hunt dropped 13% to 0.7. Debmar-Mercury's Trivial Pursuit remained at 0.6. Program Partners' Family Court slipped 20% to 0.4.

Among game shows, CTD's Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! were unchanged at 5.6 and 4.8 respectively. Disney/ABC's Who Wants To Be a Millionaire skidded 5% to a new season-low 2.1. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud was steady at 1.3.

In off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men was in front with a 3% decline to a new season-low 3.7. Twentieth's Family Guy was unchanged at 3.4. Warner Bros.' George Lopez fell 10% to 2.7 and landed in a three-way tie with Twentieth's King of the Hill, which was up 8% to 2.7, and Sony's Seinfeld, which slipped 4% to a new season-low 2.7. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond, Sony's King of Queens, and Warner Bros.' Friends were flat at 2.5, 2.1, and 2.0 respectively.

Beyond Twisted, the new clip show from Warner Bros., which began an eight week trial run on seven Fox stations July 6, aired mostly in access and late fringe slots. The show registered a two-day average of a 1.2/3, down 33% from its lead-in and down 20% from its year-ago time period average.