The royal wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton proved to be a gift to the entertainment magazines, which opened May sweeps with posh ratings.
In the week ended May 1, CBS Television Distribution's top magazine, Entertainment Tonight, hit its best numbers in six weeks, rallying 8% to a 4.0 live plus same day household ratings average, according to Nielsen Media Research. CTD's Inside Edition, which is not purely an entertainment magazine, was flat at a 2.9. NBCUniversal's Access Hollywood advanced 5% in households to a 2.0, and was the only magazine up from last year, gaining 5%. Warner Bros.' TMZ was the only magazine to decline from the prior week, losing 5% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.' Extra was the week's most improved magazine even though it was preempted in 17 markets by NBC News, spiking 13% in households to a 1.7. CTD's The Insider rose 6% in households to a 1.7 to tie Warner Bros.' Extra.
Meanwhile, NBCU's Access Hollywood Live, which is being rolled out slowly in 14 metered markets, saw a big spike on its coverage of the royal wedding. In the first week of the sweep, the show grew 25% from its year-ago time period average to a 1.0 rating/4 share and 100% among both women 18-49 and women 25-54 to a 0.6/5 and a 0.8/6.
In its fifth from final week, CTD's Oprah rebounded 4% to a 4.8. In second place, CTD's Dr. Phil scored a nine-week high, advancing 4% to a 2.9. Disney-ABC's Live with Regis and Kelly was third after sliding 4% to a 2.4. NBCU's Maury was flat at a 2.3. Sony's Dr. Oz was unchanged at a 2.2. Warner Bros.' Ellen added 5% to a 2.1. CTD's The Doctors improved 7% to a 1.6, while CTD's Rachael Ray, NBCU's Jerry Springer, NBCU's Steve Wilkos and Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams all remained the same at 1.5, 1.5, 1.3, and 1.1, respectively.
CTD's Judge Judy remained the highest-rated first-run show for the second week in a row, although the show held steady at a 6.7. In addition, Judy tied Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men to be syndication's top show for the first time this season.
In second place, CTD's Judge Joe Brown jumped 4% to a 2.7. Warner Bros.' People's Court was flat at a 1.8. Twentieth's Judge Alex was up 7% to a 1.6. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis faded 6% to a 1.5, tying Twentieth's Divorce Court, which was unchanged at a 1.5. Warner Bros.' Judge Jeanine Pirro tumbled 11% to a new series low 0.8.
CTD's Swift Justice with Nancy Grace was the only rookie to improve from the prior week, climbing 6% in households to a 1.7. Sony's Nate Berkus reclaimed second place among the new first-runs, but was flat at a 0.9. Twentieth's Don't Forget the Lyrics, which will end its run after this season, fell back 20% to a 0.8, tying Litton's Judge Karen's Court, which was unchanged. Entertainment Studios' America's Court with Judge Ross also was flat at a 0.4.
Among game shows, CTD's Wheel of Fortune upticked 2% to a 6.6. CTD's Jeopardy! was flat at a 5.7.Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire rose 9% to a 2.5. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud forfeited 4% to a 2.3. Twentieth's Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader, also ending its run, remained at a 1.1.
Two and a Half Men slipped 4% to a 6.7, but remained syndication's top-rated show. Twentieth's Family Guy and Disney-ABC's My Wife and Kids each were unchanged at a 4.4 and 3.2, respectively. Warner Bros.' George Lopez picked up 4% to a 2.9. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond was down 4% to a 2.6, tying Sony's Seinfeld, which was up 4%. NBCU's The Office gained 4% to a 2.5, while Twentieth's King of the Hill and Warner Bros.' Friends each were flat at a 2.4 and 2.0, respectively.
Among the new off-net and off-cable strips, Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother dipped 3% to a 2.9. Warner Bros.' The New Adventures of Old Christine fell 18% to a 1.4. Debmar-Mercury's Meet the Browns declined 7% to a 1.3, while Warner Bros.' Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm and NBCU's off-Bravo Real Housewives all were unchanged at a 0.7, 0.6 and 0.6, respectively.