School cuts syndie ratings

Court shows hit hardest; 'Entertainment Tonight,' 'She' up

With kids headed back to school after winter break, syndie viewership for the week ended Jan. 18 slipped by a million households from the previous week.

Court shows were hardest hit, with six of seven sliding from last week, according to Nielsen. “Judge Judy” continued to lead the charge with a 5.0. Strip was down 6% from the previous benchmark and off 12% from last year’s average. Only “Judge Joe Hatchett” emerged unscathed, flat from last week with a 2.0. Year to year, “Hatchett’ is up 11%. “Texas Justice” hit a season low 1.8, a 10% drop from last week and a 25% falloff from last year.

Despite competition from NFL division championship games, syndie hours displayed the biggest week-to-week gains.

Category leader “Entertainment Tonight Weekend” was up 33% to a 4.4, thanks in part to its coverage of the Michael Jackson arraignment on Jan. 16. “West Wing” tied “Stargate SG-1” with a 2.5, a 14% jump for “West Wing” and 9% hike for “Stargate.”

“She Spies” surged 20% for a 2.4, while “The Practice” and “Access Hollywood Weekend” tied with a 2.3. “Mutant X” climbed 10% to a 2.2

Among sitcoms, “That ’70s Show” and rookie “King of Queens” registered series highs. Now in its soph session, ” ’70s” hit a 4.3, while “King” took in a 3.1.

“On Air With Ryan Seacrest” debuted on the national chart with a 1.0. Result was lower than launches of “Ellen” and “Sharon” in September (1.5 and 1.4) but bested bows of “Staring Over” (0.8) and “Wayne Brady” (0.9).

For the rest of the rookies, “Ellen” continued to lead with a 1.8, off 5% from last week’s season high. “Sharon Osbourne” rated a 1.3 for the first week of Osbourne’s return to hosting. “Staring Over” slipped 9% to a 1.0, and “Living It Up” tumbled 10% to a 0.9.

Gab stalwart “Oprah” saw an 11% uptick to a 7.3, while “Dr. Phil” dipped to a 5.1, off 4% from week previous. “Live With Regis & Kelly” stumbled 3% to a 3.9. “Maury” was up 3% with a 3.1.

In the metered markets, “Backstage Access,” a Golden Globes backstage special for “Access Hollywood,” nabbed a 4.5/12. This is the second year newsmag has produced a kudocast post-mortem, and it earned a 15% year-to-year increase.

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