Talkers gain ground

'Montel,' 'Springer' earn double-digit gains

Improvement came in threes for the syndie world’s most recent available national household ratings.

“Montel Williams,” “Jerry Springer” and “Ricki Lake” all earned double-digit percentage gains in their ratings compared to the previous week during the third full week of May sweeps, which ended May 21.

“Montel” gained 18% to a 3.3 rating to place sixth among the syndie talk category, according to Nielsen. “Springer” returned to second in the batch, where it has spent most of the season, after a fifth-place showing the previous week. It gained 14% to 4.1. “Ricki” was up 13% to 2.7.

In talk, “Oprah Winfrey” led as usual for the season, with a 6.3, followed by “Springer,” then “Rosie O’Donnell” and “Maury,” which tied at 3.7. “Rosie” was down 3%, while “Maury” was even with the previous week. “Live With Regis & Kathie Lee” slipped 8% to 3.4.

Other talkers were mostly stable. “Leeza” and “Latifah” each earned a 1.1, while “Martin Short,” “Ainsley Harriott” and “Dr. Joy Browne” earned 0.7 each.

“Entertainment Tonight’s” weekend edition had a banner week. The weekly, which has shown marked improvement in the ratings since making content changes for the current season, beat all other weeklies for the first time, turning in a 4.0. The rating represents a 29% week-to-week jump and a 54% jump compared to the same week last year.

“ER” was the second-highest rated weekly, with a 3.9, up 8% from the previous week. “X-Files” was even with the previous week at 3.6. “Xena” followed with a 3% improvement to 3.3, followed by “Baywatch Hawaii,” which had a big week by moving up 28% to 3.2.

Elsewhere in syndication, the court shows were stable or up, with “Judge Judy” leading with a 6.4, followed by “Judge Joe Brown,” with a 3.7. Both were even with the previous week. Newcomer “Divorce Court” was next, up 3% to 3.0.

“Entertainment Tonight” led the magazines, flat at 5.8, and “Wheel of Fortune” led the gamers, as well as all other syndicated shows, up 1% to 10.0.

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