‘Jenny’ hits demo milestone

Talker tops 'Oprah' among women 18-34; 'Springer' on roll

For the first time in its six-year history, “Jenny Jones” has topped perennial syndie talkshow champ “Oprah Winfrey” in the key demographic of women 18-34.

According to Nielsen’s syndie ratings report for the week ending Aug. 3, Warner Bros.’ “Jenny Jones” scored a 4.0 rating in women 18-34, compared with a 3.9 for King World’s “Oprah Winfrey.”

However, “Jenny Jones” has the benefit of two runs per day in many markets and the 4.0 rating reflects the cumulative average of those runs, or what Nielsen refers to as a gross average audience rating. On a single telecast, or average audience basis, “Oprah” was ahead of “Jenny” in the women 18-34 demo by a nose, garnering a 3.9 vs. “Jenny” ‘s 3.8.

“Oprah” also enjoyed its usual wide lead over its nearest competitors in household rating with a 6.2, but the show was down 10% from the previous week. “Jenny” and Paramount’s “Montel Williams” were tied for second place among talkers with a 4.7 household rating, marking a 4% uptick from week-to-week for both shows.

Universal’s “Sally Jessy Raphael” followed with a 4.2, a 5% decline from the previous week.

“Jenny Jones” aside, the other success story of the week was Universal’s “Jerry Springer,” which held on to the record high household rating (3.9) it hit the previous week. “Jerry” out-rated Columbia TriStar’s “Ricki Lake” (3.8), Buena Vista’s “Live With Regis & Kathie Lee” (3.8) and Warner Bros.’ “Rosie O’Donnell” (3.7) for the first time ever.

“Rosie,” which ranks No. 2 to “Oprah” for the season-to-date with a 4.6 household rating, has been edged out of second place by her competitors every week since June 9.

Rounding out the yak pack rankings were Universal’s “Maury Povich,” with a 3.5, and Tribune Entertainment’s “Geraldo Rivera,” with a 2.0.

At the top of the syndie charts, King World’s “Wheel of Fortune” dipped slightly from week-to-week, from a 10.0 to a 9.6. Its companion, “Jeopardy!,” dropped 7% to an 8.1.

And it’s the same old story among access magazine shows: Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” led the field for a 55th straight week, scoring a 5.1. King World’s “Inside Edition” fell from a 4.3 to a 4.2. Warner Bros.’ “Extra” (3.5) beat Par’s “Hard Copy” (3.4) for a second straight week. King World’s “American Journal” was flat week-to-week with a 2.9 and Twentieth TV/NBC’s “Access Hollywood” dropped from a 2.5 to a 2.3.

Off-network sitcoms had a down week, with Buena Vista’s “Home Improvement” down 4% to a 7.5. Col TriStar’s “Seinfeld” slipped 6% to a 6.4 and Twentieth TV’s “The Simpsons” dipped 2% to a 6.1. Only the Bundys were able to buck the trend: Col TriStar’s “Married … With Children” climbed 6% from a 3.3 to a 3.1.

Reality strips posted slight week-to-week gains. Paramount’s “Real TV” was up a hair from a 3.0 to a 3.1; Twentieth TV’s “Cops” gained 4% to a 2.9.

And even with a week of reruns, Worldvision’s “Judge Judy” held on to the all-time high (2.5) it hit the previous week. Twentieth’s “Real Stories of the Highway Patrol” was flat with a 2.1. MGM’s “LAPD” booked a 1.5, up from the previous week’s 1.3, and Rysher Entertainment’s “Strange Universe” was flat with a 1.2.

Among the weekly firstrun hours, all airing reruns, Universal’s “Xena: Warrior Princess” held on to the top spot with a 6.0; her companion “Hercules” weighed in with a 5.1. After having sand thrown in its face the previous week by All American TV’s “Baywatch,” Paramount’s “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” regained the No. 3 spot with a 7% hike to a 4.5 vs. a 4.0 for “Baywatch.”

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