‘Rosie’ queen of daytimers

While magazine shows had a tough November, several talkshows posted big gains in the sweeps, and newcomer “Rosie O’Donnell” dominated daytime, according to a Petry Television analysis of the Nielsen ratings.

Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution’s “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” (5.3/21) added new life to the battered talk genre and took the top spot in daytime away from Buena Vista TV’s “Live With Regis & Kathie Lee” (5.1/24), which declined in households and women demos.

“Rosie,” which airs in daytime in 73 markets, was first in all key demos, doubling the November 1995 time period average among women and increasing its lead-in across the board.

Despite new competition in early fringe, King World’s “Oprah” (9.2/27) not only held the top spot there, but increased its lead-in and its November timeslot performance in households and women demos.

“Oprah is doing the best TV of her career,” said Jack Fentress, VP-director of programming at Petry. “A lot of people had written her off a year and a half ago.”

‘Sally’ stands tall

Universal TV’s “Sally Jessy Raphael” had an excellent sweep, placing second in early fringe (5.4/16) and edging out “Rosie” (5.1/17) in that daypart. “Sally” showed year-to-year growth in households in early fringe, while its women demos either held steady or increased slightly. “Sally” was third in daytime.

Paramount Domestic TV’s “The Montel Williams Show” was fourth in early fringe (4.9/16), where it showed year-to-year losses in households and women demos, and fifth in daytime (2.8/12). Par’s “Maury Povich” placed fifth in early fringe (4.7/19) and fourth in daytime (3.5/14). The show was essentially flat year-to-year.

While several talkers had a sweet sweep, just as many soured. Warner Bros.’ “Jenny Jones,” Columbia TriStar Television Distribution’s “Ricki Lake,” Universal’s “Jerry Springer,” Tribune Entertainment’s “Geraldo”, King World’s “Rolonda” and Twentieth TV’s “Gordon Elliott” faced significant erosion from last November in daytime and early fringe timeslots.

‘Crook’ in chase

Among the new talkers other than “Rosie,” Universal TV’s “Crook & Chase” took the top spot in daytime (2.5/11) in its 55 markets, and it improved its November timeslot average in households, while falling in demos. Universal’s other new talker “Pat Bullard” did not fare as well, finishing last in daytime among the remaining talkers (1.1/5).

“I can’t imagine how that show is going to remain around,” Fentress said.

Warner Bros. “Maureen O’Boyle” (1.8/5) edged out “Ricki Lake” (1.7/7) in daytime household rating, but lost in all demos and eroded the time periods across the board. “Ricki” did lead in late fringe (2.5/9), showing big timeslot increases in young women demos there.

While talk was a mixed bag, nearly all the magazines dropped off year-to-year. In access, King World’s “Inside Edition” (7.2/13) took the top spot away from Par’s “Entertainment Tonight” (6.8/11). Both declined from lead-in and year-ago November numbers. “Inside” also led in early fringe (6.0/17), while “ET” led in late fringe (3.1/8), but showed losses there too.

Warner Bros.’ “Extra” was third in access (5.7/9), fourth in early fringe (4.4/9) and sixth in late fringe (1.6/8). It too fell from November 1995 in households and all key demos in all dayparts.

‘Copy’ tumbles

Par’s “Hard Copy” managed to maintain its household average in late fringe from November 1995 (1.7/8), but it fell in all demos and in all other dayparts. King World’s “American Journal” finished second in early (5.1/17) and late fringe (2.7/11), but was down across the board in both dayparts from last November.

NBC’s and Twentieth TV’s newcomer “Access Hollywood” was a disappointment. It finished last in early (2.3/4) and late fringe (1.4/7) and was sixth in access (4.2/5). It under-delivered the previous November sweep in households and all demos in all dayparts. In access, the show had the biggest households decrease of any magazine from 1995, losing six share points.

Par’s frosh reality/mag “Real TV” was one of the few new show to enjoy growth. In access (3.8/7), it improved the 1995 November time period in all key demos, and it increased its lead-in. Its performances in daytime (2.2/7), early (3.9/8) and late fringe (1.4/7) were spottier.

The other new reality/mag, “Strange Universe” from Rysher, fell below lead-in and November 1995 timeslot averages in late fringe (1.4/4).

The two veteran off-net sitcom leaders held their lead positions, while King World’s top access games also remained steady from last November. Buena Vista TV’s “Home Improvement” was first in households in access (8.8/7), but CTTD’s “Seinfeld” (8.7/14) topped it in all key demos, except teens.

“Seinfeld” posted across-the-board increases from lead-in and from November 1995 in access. “Home” increased from lead-in, but was down slightly from last season in most access demos. “Home” dominated early fringe sitcoms (5.8/14), posting increases from 1995 there. “Seinfeld” won late fringe (6.217), increasing all demos year-to-year.

Twentieth TV’s ‘The Simpsons” is still going strong, placing third in access (6.6/9) with mixed year-to-year results, and second in early fringe (5.5/9), where it showed increases over last season. “Fresh Prince” placed fourth in both dayparts, showing growth from lead-in. Vets “Roseanne” (3.6/8) and “Married … With Children” (4.5/7) were off year-to-year in early fringe.

Warner Bros.’ “Martin” topped the frosh class of sitcoms, ranking fifth in access (5.2/9). CTTD’s “Mad About You” did not perform up to expectations. It was last in access (4.7/7) and had mixed results in early (3.9/9) and late fringe (3.1/8), placing fifth in both dayparts. Warner Bros.’ “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper” was at the bottom of the early fringe pack (2.9/5), falling off from 1995, but increasing its lead-in.

Games play on

The top access games, King World’s “Wheel of Fortune” (14.5/28) and “Jeopardy!” (13.5/24) were flat year-to-year in households, while “Jeopardy!” slipped slightly in key demos. “The ‘Wheel’ phenomenon goes on and on, despite all the competition from new sitcoms,” Fentress said.

The new games had disappointing books. CTTD’s “The Dating/Newlywed Hour” averaged a 1.0/5 in daytime, under-delivering lead-in and 1995 timeslots. In early fringe (1.8/7), it was two share points below lead-in and 1995 November timeslot averages. In both dayparts, it was most successful among women 18-34.

“A number of people had hoped ‘Dating/Newlywed’ would provide strong enough numbers to start a new revolution,” Fentress said. “Obviously that hasn’t happened.”

Tribune’s “Bzzz!” was four share points below November 1995 numbers in late fringe (1.5/4) and two below lead-in. In other genres, newcomer “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” was weak, averaging a 1.3/7 in daytime. Frosh court strip “Judge Judy” in daytime was on par with 1995 timeslots in households (1.9/7), but fell below last year’s levels in late fringe (1.4/7).

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