Yakkers talk back

'Springer,' 'Oprah' lead sweeps rebound

After bottoming out during the week of the July 4th holiday, ratings for many syndie strips rallied in the week ending July 13, which overlapped the start of the July sweep.

While the May sweeps generally determine local advertising rates for the summer and fall, a growing number of buyers and sellers are making late-summer rate adjustments based on the July book.

Most talkshows bounced back from the doldrums of the previous week, according to the latest Nielsen Media Research ratings report, thanks to increased promotion and new episodes served up for the sweep.

Airing all originals, Universal’s “Jerry Springer” posted the sharpest week-to-week increase, climbing 14% from a 2.9 to a 3.3, which also marked an 18% spike over the same time frame last year. Paramount’s “Montel Williams,” also in originals, bucked the uptick trend among talkers, falling 18% from the previous week to a 3.6, a new low for the season.

Perennial talkshow leader “Oprah Winfrey” rebounded from a season-low 6.0 the previous week to score a 6.5.

Warner Bros.’ “Jenny Jones,” which offered just one original for the week, landed in second place. With a 4.4, “Jenny” was up 10% from the previous week but off 2% year-to-year.

Warner Bros.’ “Rosie O’Donnell” was right behind with a 4.2, marking a 5% increase over the previous week and an 8% increase over year-ago. “Rosie” aired three originals during the week.

Numbers-crunchers noted that “Jenny’s” spike was likely due in part to higher overall viewership in late fringe during the summer months. “Jenny” has repeat second runs in latenight in a number of markets, and those ratings are factored into the show’s weekly national number. Yet “Rosie’s” year-to-year growth was surprisingly scant, given that the show has added more stations and had many timeslot upgrades since its debut last June.

‘Sally’ solid

Universal’s “Sally Jessy Raphael” also posted a solid week-to-week gain, rising 11% to a 4.1. Columbia TriStar’s “Ricki Lake” rose 8% to a 4.0; Paramount’s “Maury Povich” was up 3% with a 3.5. Buena Vista TV’s “Live With Regis & Kathie Lee” was up 6% to a 3.8. Rounding out the talkshow list was Tribune’s “Geraldo Rivera” with a 2.1, unchanged from the previous week but off 19% from year-ago.

In access timeslots, King World’s “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” regained some of their lost luster, rebounding from season lows the previous week with a 10.1 and 8.5, respectively.

‘ET’ on top

Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” also hit another milestone, marking its 52nd straight week with a wide lead over its magazine show brethren. “ET” climbed 8% week-to-week to a 5.2, and was also the only magazine to build on its lead-in rating (according to Nielsen’s metered market survey).

This time last year, “ET” was running neck-and-neck with King World’s “Inside Edition,” which was up 13% week-to-week to a 4.3 but was off 19% from its year-ago mark. “Inside’s” companion strip, “American Journal,” had a good week, soaring 19% to a 3.1.

Par’s “Hard Copy” gained 9% week-to-week to score a 3.5; Warner Bros.’ “Extra” climbed 6% to a 3.3. Twentieth TV/NBC’s “Access Hollywood” also gained ground week-to-week, moving from a 2.1 to a 2.3.

‘Home’ boost

In the off-network sitcom field, Buena Vista’s “Home Improvement” posted a 6% week-to-week gain with a 7.3; Columbia TriStar’s “Seinfeld” inched up from a 6.3 to a 6.4. Twentieth TV’s “The Simpsons” was buoyant with a 7% increase over the previous week to a 5.9, marking a 20% hike over year-ago. Col TriStar’s “Mad About You” also posted double-digit growth, rising 11% to a 4.0.

Paramount’s “Real TV” led the reality show pack, in spite of declining ratings for a third straight week, with a 2.9. Worldvision’s “Judge Judy” was up 10% with a 2.3, followed by Twentieth’s “Cops” (2.7) and “Real Stories of the Highway Patrol” (2.2), MGM’s “LAPD” (1.5) and Rysher Entertainment’s “Strange Universe” (1.3).

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