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Game Shows Hit High Numbers

The four syndicated first-run game shows all hit season highs in the national ratings for the week ending Oct. 30, but were still mostly down from last year at this time.

King World’s Wheel of Fortune was up 5% on the week to an 8.2, but still down 8% from a year ago.

King World’s Jeopardy! was up 3% on the week to a 6.4 (down 26% from last year, when champion Ken Jennings was still in "the streak"); Buena Vista’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire was up 3% to a season-best 3.0 (down 9% year-to-year), and Tribune’s Family Feud was up 5% to a 2.0 (flat year-toyear).

By contrast, the top four entertainment news magazines were all up year-to-year, but with mixed results over the week before. Paramount’s The Insider was up 13% to a 2.7 over last year, though flat week-to-week. Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight was up 2% year-to-year to a 4.9, but down 2% for the week.

King World’s Inside Edition hit a new season high with a 3.5, up 6% for the year and up 3% week-to-week.

NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood was up 4% year-to-year to a 2.6, but flat for the week.
Telepictures’ Extra did not fare as well at a 2.1, down 5% year-to-year and down 13% for the week.

From the rookie class, Twentieth TV’s Judge Alex was up 16% on the week to a 2.2, while NBCU’s Martha was up 6% to a 1.7, while Telepictures’ Tyra Banks Show fell 6% to a 1.5.

Of the 11 returning talkers, only Telepictures’ Ellen DeGeneres Show (up 16% to a 2.2) and NBCU’s Starting Over (up 10% to a 1.1) were up year-to-year. Buena Vista’s Live with Regis and Kelly was flat at a 3.4.

Ratings for the last full week before the beginning of November sweeps were affected by multiple factors.

They included power outages in the Southeast as a result of Hurricane Wilma, preemptions due to the World Series, Supreme Court Justice nominee Harriet Miers' withdrawl, and the indictment and resignation of Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, Lewis “Scooter” Libby.