Mags, game shows score

'Fortune' takes top spot, rising 1% for a 9.0 rating

Despite steep declines in viewing levels in the week ending Jan. 15, most of the top game shows and magazines in syndication showed resilience, with many hitting a seasonal high in the Live Plus Same Day ratings.

Seasonally there was nothing unusual about the 12% slump in TV auds week to week, down just over 7 million viewers per average minute, particularly in the context of the Martin Luther King holiday.

The real surprise was that despite this the top three game shows, as well as “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider,” all tied or exceeded their highest ratings of the season.

“Wheel of Fortune” took the No. 1 spot, rising 1% from last week for a 9.0 rating, although it slid 11% year to year. “Jeopardy” followed with a new season high of 7.4, up 6% week to week, but down 10% from last year. “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” also reached a season high after climbing 6% to a 3.5 rating, and with only a 5% decrease from last year, “Millionaire” was the only one of the top three not down double figures year to year.

The No. 1 magazine show “Entertainment Tonight” hit its best ratings for seven weeks and tied its season high of 5.5, up 2% from last week in households. In the 18-49 female demo, the show was up 10% to 3.2.

“Entertainment Tonight’s” spinoff “The Insider” tied its highest weekly rating ever with a 3.1. That’s up 7% in households and up 3% in women 18-49, bringing it to a 1.7 in the demo. “Insider” also saw the biggest increase from last year of any firstrun strip of any type in syndication, with an 11% rise.

“Inside Edition,” the No. 2 magazine, was unchanged at 3.6.

The only veteran court show to improve week to week was “People’s Court,” up 4% to a 2.9. All the other vets were down or flat. “Judge Judy” was down 2% to a 5.1 rating, while “Judge Joe Brown” was down 3% to a 3.2. Compared to last year, “Judy” sank 6% and “Brown” was down 14%. “Divorce Court” was unchanged at a 2.6, “Judge Mathis” decreased 8% to a 2.3 and tied with rookie gaveler “Judge Alex,” which increased 5% to a 2.3.

Of the nine veteran daytime talkers, three increased, three fell and three stuck. The yakker with the biggest rise was “Starting Over,” up 22% to a 1.1. “Dr. Phil” rose 4% to a 5.4, and “Live With Regis and Kelly” was up 9% to a 3.5. Top talker “Oprah” fell 3% to a 6.8. “Maury” sank 10% to a 2.7, and “Ellen DeGeneres” fell 4% to a 2.4 rating, although she still climbed 4% from last year.

Rookie talker “Martha” saw a 6% increase to a 1.7, just squeezing past the recently renewed “Tyra Banks.” However, in key female demos, “Tyra” beat “Martha” across the board.

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