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ET Tops Mags in May

Paramount’s magazine strip leader Entertainment Tonight continued to lead, averaging a 5.1 national rating--on par with May 2004--to lead magazine strips during the recently concluded May sweeps.

King World’s No. 2 magazine, Inside Edition, also remained even with a 3.3, while Paramount’s rookie strip, The Insider (2.7), which faced preemptions in May for local Survivor and Everybody Loves Raymond specials, sparked with a 13% gain over its September premiere.

Insider earned the No. 3 spot ahead of NBC Universal’s older Access Hollywood, which declined 7% to a 2.6, though the drop-off may be attributable to the introduction of people meters in five of the six top markets this past season. Telepictures’  Extra rounded out the pack, down 15% from a 2.6 to a 2.2.

Overall, rookies and talk did especially well over last year despite a drop of about 181,000 homes, or 1% per minute, on network affiliates.

Oprah and Ellen led talk, each up 11% from May 2004. The talk queen led with an 8.0, up from 7.2, while Ellen, in its sophomore season, climbed from a 1.9 to a 2.1. Others posting gains included Dr. Phil, Live with Regis & Kelly, and Maury.

Court shows continued to hold up incredibly well, with Judge Judy winning its 35th consecutive sweep with a 4.8 rating, while Judge Joe Brown grabbed No. 2 for its 27th sweep in a row with a 3.3. Both declined slightly in household rating while gaining in the key women 25-54 demo.

Jeopardy gained 10% to a 7.4, thanks to the Ultimate Tournament of Champions and the return of Ken Jennings, while Everybody Loves Raymond led off-net sitcoms with a 19% increase (helped by hype around the series finale and its appearance this past year on cable).

The other off-net sitcoms were all down, with Will & Grace showing the biggest drop at 21% to a 2.7 from a 3.4 in May 2004.