Mags Make Some Noise In Syndication

Magazine shows held up best in national syndication during the week ended April 30, which included the first two days of the May sweeps.

Their strong performance appeared to be spurred by the story and fallout surrounding the $100 million sexual harassment suit against Maury Povich’s talk show. On nights when they played it at or near the top of their shows, the magazines enjoyed their best ratings.

But the suit appeared to have little impact on ratings for NBC Universal’s Maury show itself. In a mixed bag for the talk genre—five were up, five were unchanged and one declined from the previous week, though most fell from the previous year—Maury increased 4% from 2.5 to 2.6 while declining 10% year-to-year.

Maury’s weekly growth appears to stem more from the start of the sweeps than the controversy. The program generally gets a sweeps spike. For instance, during the year-ago frame, it climbed 7% week to week leading into the key measurement period.

Among the other talk shows posting weekly increases were King World’s Oprah (6.9, up 10% from 6.3 but down 7% from 7.4 in 2005) and Dr. Phil (up 6% to 5.4 from 5.1 and down 5% from a 5.7 a year ago).

Telepictures’ rookie Tyra posted the biggest rise, leaping 13% to 1.7—its highest mark in five weeks; NBC U’s Martha recorded a 1.6.

NBC U’s Jerry Springer fell year-to-year by 29% from a 2.4 to 1.7 (and a 6% drop for the week from 1.8).

Of the four top magazine shows, Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight hit its highest rating since March 27 with a 5.0, up 6% for the week and flat for the year; King World’s Inside Edition jumped 6% for the week and year to a 3.5; Paramount’s The Insider rose 4% from 2.4 to 2.5 but slipped 4% from 2.6 a year ago; and NBC U’s Access Hollywood reached a 2.5, up 9% from 2.3 and even versus for the year. Warner Bros.’ Extra was flat for the week and year at 2.1.