Weak Week for Syndication


In "the week of very little change in syndicated ratings," otherwise known as the week ending May 21, Judge Judy and Entertainment Tonight held big leads over their nearest rivals as the May sweep wound down. However, the off-net sitcom race between Everybody Loves Raymond and Seinfeld got a little tighter.

Judge Judy ruled the court shows with a 4.7 rating, unchanged from the week before, although down 6% from last year.

Second place Judge Joe Brown recorded a 3.0, down 3% from the week before, and down 12% from the same week last year. Rounding out the gavel group was People's Court at a 2.8, up 4% for the week and up 8% from last year, followed by Divorce Court at a 2.6, down 4% for the week and down 7% from last year, and Judge Mathis at a 2.4, up 4% for the week but down 4% from last year. Rookie Judge Alex was flat at a 2.1.

Entertainment Tonight scored a 4.8, off 4% both week-to-week and year-to-year, while runner-up Inside Edition earned a 3.5, up 3% for the week and up 6% from last year.

Elsewhere on the magazine rack, The Insider had a 2,7 rating, unchanged both from week to week and year to The biggest percentage gainer was Access Hollywood, which also tallied a 2.7, but that was up 8% both for the week and over last year. Fifth place Extra was unchanged at a 2.2, even with last year.

Meanwhile, Everybody Loves Raymond, the sitcom leader, was unchanged at a 5.7, down 14% from last year, while second-place Seinfeld moved up 6% to a 5.4, although still down 10% from a year ago. Friends was third at a 4.4, unchanged for the week and down 14% from the same week last year.

Among the rookie off-net sitcoms, My wife and Kids was up 5% to a 2.1, followed by Bernie Mac, unchanged at a 2.0, and Sex and the City, down 5% to a 1.9.