Syndies fall as summer wanes

Ratings for most syndicated shows were flat to down in the week ending Aug.
10, the last vacation week before kids went back to school.

The average number of households viewing broadcast TV slipped to its
second-lowest level of the season.

Bucking the downtrend were the top three entertainment news strips, however,
with Paramount Television’s Entertainment Tonight up 2% to 4.8, NBC Enterprises’
Access Hollywood up 9% to 2.4 and Warner Bros.’ Extra up 4% to 2.4
to tie Access Hollywood.

King World Productions’ Inside Edition, meanwhile, was unchanged at 3.0 and in
second place behind ET.

On the other hand, only two of the 14 talk shows were higher. Top talker King
World’s Oprah gained 2% to 5.4 and Universal Television’s Crossing Over with
John Edward
jumped 8% to 1.3.

On the down side, King World’s Dr. Phil slipped 5% to 4.1. Universal’s
Maury lost 3% to 3.5, but held on to third place for the seventh time in
the past eight weeks.

Buena Vista Television’s Live with Regis & Kelly dropped 6% to 3.3.
Universal’s The Jerry Springer Show fell 7% to 2.7.

Paramount’s Montel Williams skidded 12% to 2.2. Warner Bros.’ Jenny
, soon to go off the air, was down 10% to 1.9. Sony Pictures Television’s Ricki Lake
shed 6% to 1.6.

NBC Enterprises’ The John Walsh Show sank 7% to 1.3. Twentieth Television’s
Good Day Live dropped 10% to 0.9. NBC Enterprises’ The Other Half,
nearing the end of its run, plunged 25% to 0.6.

King World’s Martha Stewart Living and Warner Bros.’ Caroline
, not renewed for a second season, were both flat at 1.3 and 0.8,

Only one of seven court shows was up: Sony’s Judge Hatchett, which
rose 6% to 1.9.

Top jurist Paramount’s Judge Judy was down 4% to 4.5. Judy
was followed by Paramount’s Judge Joe Brown, unchanged at 3.4, and
Twentieth’s Divorce Court, unchanged at 2.7.

Elsewhere, none of the six dating shows gained. Universal’s Blind Date
and Warner Bros.' elimiDate were both flat and tied for the top spot at
1.8. Universal’s Fifth Wheel fell 7% to 1.4.

Warner Bros.’ Change of Heart lost 8% to 1.2. Twentieth’s Ex-Treme
slid 9% to 1.0, and Sony’s Shipmates remained underwater at a
0.9, down 10%.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.