Syndication Ratings: Osmonds Electrify Syndies

Death of Osmond Patriarch George Osmond Boosts Magazine Shows
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Who knew the Osmonds were still such a draw?

The death of Osmond patriarch George Osmond Nov. 6 boosted all of the syndicated magazine shows to season highs in the week ending Nov. 11, while the Nov. 9 appearance of the entire 100-plus person Osmond clan on CBS’ The Oprah Winfrey Show drove the talk leader to its best ratings since last February. The week also included the first full week of the November sweep.

CBS’ Entertainment Tonight and CBS’ The Insider -- the first- and third-ranked shows in the genre -- each hit their highest ratings in seven months. ET was up 12% from the prior week to a 5.5 live-plus-same-day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. On Nov. 6, the day the Osmond patriarch passed, ET gained 18% on the prior week to a 5.8. ET spinoff TheInsider, meanwhile, jumped 8% to a 2.7, also a season high.

CBS’ Inside Edition, the No. 2 magazine, gained 9% to a 3.7, the show’s best number in 35 weeks. In fourth place, NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood hit its best rating in six months, increasing 8% to a 2.6. Warner Bros.’ rookie, TMZ, surpassed its corporate sibling, Extra, leaping 18% to a 2.0, the show’s best rating since premiere week. Extra moved up 12% to a 1.9, also tying its previous season high.

Oprah -- having coincidentally booked the Osmonds on the same week of George Osmond’s death -- also benefited by the family’s presence, jumping 16% to a 6.7. On the day the Osmonds appeared, the show hit an 8.1, its best single-day rating since February 13.

CBS’ Dr. Phil, in second place, and Oprah were the only two talkers to hit new season highs. Dr. Phil inched up 2% to a 4.9, the program’s best showing in 24 weeks. Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis and Kelly, Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres and CBS’ Rachael Ray all held steady at 3.1, 2.1 and 2.0, respectively.

Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men made it three weeks in a row as the top off-network sitcom, jumping 7% to hit a new season high 4.6. CBS’ Everybody Loves Raymond stayed on Men’s heels, also moving up 7% to score a new season high 4.5. Keeping it close in third place, Twentieth Television rookie Family Guy climbed 13% to a 4.4, also a new high.

Sony’s Seinfeld, in fourth place, was flat at 3.9, while Sony’s King of Queens increased 7% to a 3.0 and fifth place. Warner Bros.’ Friends was flat at a 2.9, followed by Warner Bros. newcomer George Lopez, also unchanged at a 2.7.

NBC Universal’s Steve Wilkos continued to lead daytime’s rookie pack, jumping 11% from the prior week to a 1.0 and tying its best rating thus far. Right behind Wilkos, Twentieth’s Morning Show with Mike and Juliet was up 13% to a 0.9, also matching its season high. Sony’s Judge David Young and Program Partners’ Merv Griffin’s Crosswords were each unchanged at a 0.9 and 0.8, respectively. Twentieth’s Temptation gained 20% to a new high 0.6. And Radar Entertainment’s Jury Duty remained at a 0.2.

Among the court shows, Twentieth’s Divorce Court saw the biggest gain, jumping 11% to a 2.0. CBS’ leader, Judge Judy, gained 9% to a new season high 5.1. In second place, CBS’ Judge Joe Brown was flat at a 2.8. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court followed at a 2.5, up 4%, while Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis increased 5% to a 2.2.

Finally, CBS’ game-show veterans -- Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! -- each hit new season highs. Wheel improved 3% to an 8.1, while Jeopardy! rose 2% to a 6.7. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire inched up 3% to a 3.0, while Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was up 6% to a 1.8.

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