Smith death enlivens newsmag ratings

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The syndicated newsmagazines got a ratings boost during the week ending Feb. 11 thanks to coverage of Anna Nicole Smith's death.

All five shows in the newsmagazine genre, which extensively covered the death of Smith on Feb. 8, posted year-to-year increases during the week, which included the first full week of the February sweep. Four of those shows also garnered season-high ratings, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Genre leader "Entertainment Tonight" posted the biggest week-to-week increase among the five shows, jumping 12% to average a 6.4 household rating, marking its best weekly performance in more than three years. The show also was up 12% from the same week a year ago.

No. 2-ranked "Inside Edition" also marked its best performance in just over three years with a 4.1, up 11% from the previous week and up 8% from a year ago.

"The Insider" scored a season-high 3.1 -- tying its series high -- posting a 7% increase from the previous week and a 3% rise from a year ago.

"Access Hollywood" also averaged a 3.1, holding steady from the previous week. The show also jumped 19% from the same week a year ago, when the strip was pre-empted in several markets where it airs on NBC affiliates because of the network's coverage of the 2006 Winter Olympics. The show's weekend edition averaged a 2.3, rising 35% over the previous week and marking its best rating since late 2005.

"Extra" also pulled out a season-high 2.5, up 4% week-to-week and year-over-year.

Elsewhere in syndication, talker "Live With Regis and Kelly" notched a season-high 3.9 during a week that featured the "Live Wedding 2007" stunt. The show, up 5% from the previous week, was the only talker up over a year ago, rising 5%.

Also posting a season high was court show "Judge Mathis" (2.8, up 4% week-to-week and up 8% year-over-year).
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