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Surviving talkers climb in sweeps

As several new and old talkshows bit the dust, many surviving talkers received a boost from the decreased competition in the February sweeps, according to an analysis by the rep firm Petry TV.

Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution’s “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” continued its ascent, topping all talkers in daytime timeslots with a 6.5/23, more than doubling the household performance of the February 1996 time period, and increasing its lead-in and all-women demos.

The talkshow hardest hit by “Rosie’s” rise was Buena Vista TV’s “Live With Regis & Kathie Lee,” the only surviv-ing veteran daytime talkshow to drop from 1996 in households and all demos. “Live” rated a 4.9/23 in households.

Most other daytime talkers fared well in February. Paramount Domestic TV’s “Maury Povich” placed third with a 3.9/15, improving on 1996 timeslots in households and nearly all demos. Universal Domestic TV’s “Sally Jessy Raphael” placed fourth in households with a 3.6/16, increasing across the board from 1996.

Warner Bros.’ “Jenny Jones” (3.1/11), Par’s “Montel Williams” (2.9/12) and Universal’s “Jerry Springer” (2.9/10) all improved their 1996 timeslots in households and demos. Among the remaining frosh talkers, both Universal’s “Crook & Chase” (2.1/11) and Warner Bros.’ “In Person With Maureen O’Boyle” (2/6) failed to reach February 1996 levels.

“Rosie” posed a threat in early fringe as well as daytime. King World’s “Oprah” (8.8/25) continued to dominate de-spite decreases in households and all demos. “Rosie” (5.9/18) was second, posting increases from the February 1996 timeslot. “Sally” (5.6/15) was third in early fringe, and it also showed year-to-year growth and gains over lead-in. Columbia’s “Ricki Lake” led in late fringe (2.7/12), followed by “Jenny Jones” (2.6/9) and “Jerry Springer” (2.2/10).

Magazines had a less shiny sweeps, all facing year-to-year losses across the board. King World’s “Inside Edition” topped the mags in early fringe (5.9/18) and in access (7.2/14), despite declines from last February and lead-in. Par’s “Entertainment Tonight” ranked second in access (7.0/12) and first in late fringe (3.1/9).

Warners’ “Extra” was third in access (5.9/9) and fourth in early fringe (4.0/7). Par’s “Hard Copy” placed fourth in access (5.2/9) and third in early fringe (4.3/12). King World’s “American Journal” ranked second in early (5.4/17) and late (2.8/12) fringe.

CTTD’s “Seinfeld” led the sitcoms in early fringe (6.8/18), access (8.9/15) and late fringe (7.3/18). Buena Vista TV’s “Home Improvement” placed second in early fringe (5.9/15), where it increased from last year, and second in access (8.7/16), where it fell in key demos. Twentieth TV’s “The Simpsons” led among men 18-34 and teens, ranking third in early fringe (5.5/9) and access (6.4/9). “The Simpsons” placed second in late fringe (4.2/9), where it increased across the board.

‘Martin’ intimidating

Among the first-year sitcoms, Warner Bros.’ “Martin” was impressive in access (5.0/9), where it increased over last year’s time period and lead-in, ranking fourth. It was spottier in early (3.1/6) and late fringe (2.7/6). Col’s “Mad About You” increased women demos and ranked sixth in early fringe (4.0/9), fifth in access (4.9/8) and sev-enth in late fringe (3.0/8). King World’s “Wheel of Fortune” was first in access (14.8/28), off just slightly from last year. “Jeopardy!” was second in access (13.5/24), gaining a bit in households from last year.

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