It was a good news/bad news scenario for the talk show crowd for the syndication ratings week ending May 13. After a couple of periods of un-sweeps-like performances, the bulk of talk series perked up for the week, but just two of the 11 veterans improved upon their showings at this time last year.
Healthy on both accounts were Live with Regis and Kelly, landing a 3.8 Nielsen household score, a 6% hike from last week and a 3% jump from 2000 and Montel (3.8, up 3% for the week and 7% for the year). Looking mixed were Oprah (5.9, up 2%, down 8%), Jerry (3.6, up 6%, flat), Maury (3.4, up 6%, down 8%), Rosie (3.0 up 7%, down 21%) and Ricki (2.3, up 5%, down 4%). Sally (2.3, up 21%, down 23%) displayed the biggest split.
Also gaining ground were the top weekly hours. ET Weekend (3.6, up 9% for the week) tied with X-Files (3.6, up 9%) for first. That was followed by Andromeda (3.1, up 11%) and Xena (2.8, up 17%). Not counting rookie Andromeda in that group, only ET is doing better than it was for the comparable 2000 period.
The top three game shows Wheel of Fortune (9.1, up 1%), Jeopardy (7.8, up 1%) and Hollywood Squares (3.3, up 6%) all edged up for the week. Blind Date (2.0, down 5%) and Change of Heart (1.8, flat) followed. - Susanne Ault
Elsewhere, two court shows hit season lows, Divorce Court (2.5, down 4%) and already canceled Judge Mills Lane (1.3, down 7%). Power of Attorney (2.0, flat) continued its dominance of the rookie first-run strips, with Judge Hatchett (1.8, down 5%), Street Smarts (1.7, up 6%) and To Tell the Truth (1.7, up 6%) trailing.