Syndie Shows Up for Sweeps


Ratings for most syndicated shows were higher for the week ending Nov. 7, which included the first two weekdays and the first weekend of the November sweep.

The end of daylight savings time on Oct. 31 helped syndies during the week, especially shows with early fringe and access clearances, although coverage of the election on Nov. 2 and its aftermath caused a slew of interruptions and preemptions for some strips. Even so, many syndicated shows hit new season highs entering the sweep.

Paramount’s Insider had the biggest week-to-week increase among the closely watched first-run rookies. The Insider hit its best ratings yet, up 13% from the prior week to a 2.7 in households to lead all newcomers for the eighth week in a row.

The Insider also had a larger bump than any of the established magazines and outrated three of the five veterans. NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood was unchanged at a 2.5; Warner Bros.’ Extra hit a season-high 2.4 and was up 9% despite being preempted by election coverage numerous times during the week; And Warner Bros.’ Celebrity Justice was up 10% to a 1.1.

Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight as the top mag, as usual, jumping 10% to a 5.3 and notching its season best. That was followed by King World’s Inside Edition at a 3.4, up 3% and equaling its season high.

Although The Insider was the only rookie to hit a new series best, Buena Vista’s The Tony Danza Show improved 8% to a 1.3, matching its series high and NBC Universal’s The Jane Pauley Show remained at its series-high 1.6. Twentieth’s Ambush Makeover was unchanged at a 1.1. Warner Bros.’ The Larry Elder Show held steady at a 0.8. Sony’s Pat Croce: Moving In fell 14% to a 0.6, and Sony’s Life & Style showed little life, down 20% to a new series low of a 0.4.

In the first weekend of the sweep, Paramount’s ET Weekend was up 28% to a new series high 3.2, leading all first-run weekly hours.

The show featured the top-ten scandals of the year, with Martha Stewart coming in at number one and Janet Jackson taking the runner-up spot. In second place, MGM’s Stargate SG-1 was down 5% to a 2.1. The top off-net weekly hour was King World’s rookie CSI, which dipped 2% to a 5.0, followed far behind by Warner Bros.’ The West Wing, which slipped 9% to a 2.0.

Elsewhere, Jeopardy! champ Ken Jennings broke the record for game show winnings by bringing his running total to nearly $2.2 million at mid-week. King World’s Jeopardy! ratings rose 7% to a season-high 9.3, tying King World’s Wheel of Fortune for the top spot among all shows in syndication. Wheel was up 4% to its 9.3, which was also a season high. The  number-three game show, Buena Vista’s Who Wants To Be AMillionaire, completed the trifecta, hitting a season high 3.5, up 6%.

In daytime, one court show and one talk show hit averaged new season weekly highs. Paramount’s Judge Judy, the queen of court, gained 4% to a 4.9. That was the show’s third season-high in the past four weeks, driven by a season’s best 5.2 on the first day of the sweep. King World’s talk-show champ, The Oprah Winfrey Show, was up 4% to a 7.9, its best number of the season.

King World’s Everybody Loves Raymond led the sitcoms with a new season-high 6.8 rating, up 3%, followed by Warner Bros.’ Friends, up 5% to a season-high 5.8.

Twentieth’s Malcolm in the Middle topped the off-net rookie strips with a new season-high 3.2, up 3%. In second place, NBC Universal’s Fear Factor was flat at a 1.9; Twentieth’s Yes Dear was up 6% to a 1.7; and Paramount’s Girlfriends was up 7% to a 1.