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Syndication Ratings: Magazines Are Growing

As some stations question the need for another magazine show like Warner Bros. new series, national syndication ratings for the week ended Jan. 28 indicate that magazines are the programming category with the most shows posting increases over last year.

During the week ended Jan. 28, the last full week prior to the start of sweeps, three magazines improved versus a year ago. And the two that declined were down far less than other genres, including the widely imitated court field, where nothing gained.

Talk produced only one year-to-year increase (Buena Vista TV’s Live with Regis & Kelly grew 6% from 3.4 to 3.6) and the sole winner versus 2006 levels among games was BVT’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (up 9% from 3.3 to 3.6).

In general, magazines have been driven by headline-making celebrity news, which began more than a month ago with the loud Rosie O’Donnell-Donald Trump slugfest.

Gainers included CBS Television Distribution’s Entertainment Tonight (up 6% from 5.3 to 5.6), NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood (increasing 4% from 2.8 to 2.9) and CTD’s The Insider (4% higher from 2.7 to 2.8). CTD’s Inside Edition dropped 5% from 3.8 to 3.6, while Warner Bros. Extra slipped 4% from 2.4 to 2.3.

Even Twentieth TV’s cancelled Geraldo at Large prospered in its final week in syndication, matching a series high reached the previous week of 1.7. Since the staff was notified in early January of the show’s demise, ratings rose 21% from 1.4 to 1.7.

By comparison, NBCU’s Megan Mullally followed the more customary course. In its final week, the departed talker dropped to its lowest ratings ever, with its 0.7 down 22% from the prior week.

Overall, most syndicated shows finished flat to down during the week as Persons Using Television levels dropped 4.3 million from the prior week, which began with the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. State of the Union preemptions also played a role in some markets.

Elsewhere, the second week installment of Twentieth’s slow rollout talker The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet (starting Jan. 29) picked up 8% over its first five-day outing. It went from a 1.3 rating/5 share to a 1.4/5, as its metered market station tally rose from 25 to 27. That was a drop of 46% from its lead-in and 30% from the year-ago time period average.

NBCU’s iVillage Live earned a 0.6/2 in its ninth week, up from 0.5/2 in the previous bracket. It was down 45% versus lead-in and 50% in the time period, but its big market station tally rose from 10 to 12.