Syndicated Mags Get "Brangelina" Bump

The national Nielsen ratings for most of the top syndicated game shows and magazines were up for the week ending Jan. 15, with the top mags getting a bump from the Brad Pitt/Angelina Jolie baby story.

Those increases for the mags came despite large drops in PUT (people using television) levels. Compared to the week before, when the Jan. 2 holiday spiked viewership, there were more than 7 million fewer viewers on average for the week ending Jan. 15.

The top three game shows were all higher for the week,  though down from last year at this time. By contrast, the court shows were heading south for the week, while the talkers were all over the map.

Among the game shows, Wheel of Fortune was up 1% to a new season-high 9.0, though that was down 11% from last year. Jeopardy was up 6% to a new season-high 7.4, but down 10% from a year ago.

The top magazine, Entertainment Tonight, recorded its best ratings in seven weeks and tied its season high of a 5.5, up 2% from the week before in households and up 10% in women 18-49 to a 3.2 rating.

ET spin-off, The Insider, the No. 3 magazine, tied its personal-best rating with a 3.1, up 7% in households and 13% in women 18-49 to a 1.7. Insider recorded the biggest increase over last year of any strip in syndication, up 11%.

Inside Edition, the No. 2 magazine, was unchanged at a 3.6.

Among the court shows, Judge Judy was down 2% to a 5.1, and Judge Joe Brown was down 3% to a 3.2. Compared to this week last year, Judy was down 6% while Joe was down 14%.

The only veteran court show to improve from the week before was People's Court, up 4% to a 2.9 in third place.

Divorce Court was unchanged at a 2.6; Judge Mathis was down 8% to a 2.3, tying Judge Alex, which was up 5%.

Among the talkers, the show with the biggest precentage increase was Starting Over, up 22% to a 1.1.

The other gainers were Dr. Phil, which was up 4% to a 5.4, and Live With Regis and Kelly, up 9% to a 3.5.

Losing ground were leader Oprah, down 3% to a 6.8; Maury, down 10% to a 2.7; and Ellen Degeneres, down 4% to a 2.4, but still up 4% from last year.

Rookie talker Martha was up 6% to a 1.7, while the recently renewed Tyra Banks show got a 1.6, unchanged from last week.

In key female demos Tyra, outrated the older-skewing Martha across the board, even including women 25-54.

In the off-net area, Everybody Loves Raymond was up 2% to a 6.7; Seinfeld was next at a 5.8, up 4%, while Friends averaged a 5.2, up 2%.

On the weekend, the top off-net weekly hour, CSI, was up 6% to a 5.5, matching its season high. The top first-run weekly hour, ET Weekend, was unchanged at a 2.7.

Among the rookie hours, Alias and 24 each recorded a 2.5. Alias was down 4%, while 24 was up 9% for the week, tying its personal best.

Next in line were DaVinci's Inquest at a 2.0, matching its season high and up 5% for the week, followed by Smallville at a 1.7, down 11% and tied with Star Trek: Enterprise, up 42% to a season high after recording a season low the previous week (ratings for weekly shows can be volatile since a single preemption can knock their ratings for a loop). Stargate: Atlantis was unchanged at a 1.6.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.