Syndie mags, games grab eyeballs

'Family Feud' jumps 20% in ratings

Although courtroom shows have been grabbing the headlines this season in syndication, the most notable ratings gains for the week ending Oct. 24 saw newsmags and gameshows drawing the eyeballs.

No program in either genre lost momentum, according to Nielsen numbers, as programming pillars “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy” from King World, along with Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” all posted gains. But the biggest ratings jump for the week went to a rookie, “Family Feud” from Pearson.

“Feud” leaped 20% in the ratings compared with last week as the Louie Anderson-hosted gameshow reached a new high for the season at a 1.8. Other quizzers also benefited from the gameshow bandwagon as “Fortune” was up 5% to a 10.9, “Jeopardy” grew 14% to a 9.2, and King World’s “Hollywood Squares” climbed 5% to a 4.2.

‘Heart’ changes up

Among the relationship programs in the genre, Warner Bros.’ “Change of Heart” was up 11% to a 2.1 and Universal’s “Blind Date” stayed flat at a 1.4 rating.

“Entertainment Tonight” nailed its highest rating of the season so far, up 7% from last week and 13% over year-ago numbers. The newsmag was boosted by a two-part report on Tanya Harding’s return to ice skating competition, which aired on Oct. 18 and 19 and averaged a 6.4 on both days.

But “ET” wasn’t the only show to flower: Warner Bros.’ “Extra” and “Access Hollywood” both showed gains, with “Extra” up 6% to a 3.4 and “Access” climbing 11% to a 2.1. King World’s “Inside Edition” also benefited from the week, up 8% to a 2.8. Newcomer “National Enquirer” from MGM stayed flat for the week at a 1.7.

Warner Bros.’ “Jenny Jones,” on the other hand, took another blow in audiences, hitting a seven-year low with a 1.7 rating. The talker has shown the biggest ratings erosion over the course of the season of any veteran show (with the exception of King World’s troubled “Roseanne Show” which lost its NBC O&Os), down 41% from last year’s rating and off 6% from the previous week. The show had hit a 3.1 mark during the second week of this season.

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