Most of weekly hours saw numbers decline from last year

“Entertainment Tonight Weekend” easily won its fourth consecutive May sweep in the race of the 28 weekly hours, with a 3.4 average.

Week ending May 23 contained the final weekend of the sweeps period.

Like most of the weekly hours, “ET Weekend’s” numbers declined from last year, dropping 11% from May 2003. But it still held a healthy 70% ratings advantage over its closest rivals.

Several of the weekly hours, including “ET Weekend,” suffered from coverage May 15 of a much stronger than usual Preakness horse race, which got its highest ratings in 14 years.

“Stargate SG1,” “The Practice” and the rookie “The West Wing” all averaged a 2.0 for the sweep.

“Stargate” was down 17% from last May; “Practice” fell 9%.

“Access Hollywood Weekend” was up 6% to a 1.9, followed by “Andromeda” at a 1.8, down 14% from last year, and “ER” also at a 1.8, a drop of 28%.

In a three-way tie for eighth place at 1.7 were rookie “Unexplained Mysteries”; “Extra Weekend,” which slipped 6%; and “Mutant X,” dropping 19% vs. May ’03.

Elsewhere among the strips, ratings were mainly flat to down, in part because many shows in daytime did not air in New York on May 18-19 due to coverage of the 9/11 hearings.

The only groups to avoid the downturn were the latenight relationship strips, led by “Blind Date,” which gained 7% to a 1.5 and topped the dating field for the eighth week in a row.

“Elimidate” was up 8% to 1.4 in second place, with “The 5th Wheel” up 9% to 1.2 and “Extreme Dating” improving 11% to a 1.0.

In daytime, “Judge Judy” hit a milestone, making it 400 straight weeks as the No. 1 courtshow, with a 5.0, even with the prior week.

“Oprah,” up 3% to a 7.6, topped a little changed group of talkers.

“Celebrity Justice,” which was just renewed for year three, was the only magazine with an increase, gaining 8% from the week before to a 1.3.

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