‘Judges’ lay down law during sweeps

'Squares,' yakkers up but trail behind courts

Daytime TV viewers were in a litigious mood the week of Feb. 15, powering gaveler queen “Judge Judy” to a record-high 7.9 national household rating, according to Nielsen’s latest syndie ratings report.

And it was ipso facto for hizzoners “Judge Joe Brown” and “Judge Mills Lane,” which both also reached new ACNielsen/EDI highs during the week. Worldvision’s “Brown” climbed 16% from the previous week to a 3.7 household average, while its adult 18-49 demo rating jumped 21% to a 1.7.

Rysher Entertainment’s “Lane” spiked 10% to a 3.4 household average; its adult demo score rose 14% to a 1.6. Warner Bros.’ “The People’s Court” fell short of a new high but did post a 4% week-to-week increase in households (2.8) and a 10% gain in the key demo (1.1).

‘Squares’ on a roll

Another freshman strip that set a new water mark during the third week of the February sweeps was King World’s “Hollywood Squares.” The gameshow rose 14% from the previous week to a 4.9 household average, while its adult demo climbed 10% to a 2.1.

On the off-network front, Warner Bros.’ “Friends” had its best week since bowing in reruns last September, scoring a 7.5 in households and 5.3 in the adult demo.

Magazine shows were little changed from the previous week, although NBC/Warner Bros.’ “Access Hollywood” posted a 13% spike in households (2.6) and Par’s “Real TV” was up 11% to a 3.1.

Yak pack

The daytime yak pack was generally buoyant in a heavily promoted sweeps week. Studios USA’s “Maury Povich” was the biggest week-to-week mover, gaining 20% in households (3.6) and 10% in the femme 18-49 demo (2.2).

Fellow Studios USA talkers “Jerry Springer” and “Sally Jessy Raphael” garnered double-digit gains. “Springer” posted a 15% bounce to a 7.7, while its showing with femmes increased 13% to a 5.3. “Sally” jumped 19% to a 4.3 and its demo upticked 17% to a 2.8.

In second place behind “Springer” was King World’s “Oprah Winfrey,” which slipped 4% from the previous week to a 6.7 and 2% with femmes (4.5). Warner Bros.’ “Rosie O’Donnell” rose 8% to a 4.2 and 4% with femmes (2.8). Buena Vista TV’s “Live with Regis & Kathie Lee” was unchanged from week-to-week at a 3.9, while its femme demo dipped 5% to a 1.8.

Ricki, Montel and Jenny

Columbia TriStar’s “Ricki Lake” was up 12% in households (3.8) and 8% with femmes (2.7). Par’s “Montel Williams” was flat in households (3.7) but up 14% with femmes (2.5). Warner Bros.’ “Jenny Jones” inched up 3% to a 3.7 in households, but its femme demo slid 8% to a 2.2.

Among the frosh yakkers, Twentieth TV’s “Forgive or Forget” was up 11% in households (2.0) and 18% with femmes (1.3). King World’s “The Roseanne Show” climbed 12% to a 1.9, while its femme demo was flat at a 1.0. Col TriStar’s “Donny & Marie” spiked 12% to a 1.8 and 10% to a 1.1 in demos. Par’s “Howie Mandel” rose 7% to a 1.5 in households but was flat in the demo (0.7).

Warners’ dating gameshow “Change of Heart” garnered an 8% gain to a 2.6, while its adult 18-34 demo rose 6% to a 1.8.

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