Channel Surfing
by Laura Nachman
March 6, 2003
(scheduled to print March 9)

       The big news of February sweeps was the success of the WTXF "Ten O'clock News," which beat KYW's late show for the first time.  The interesting thing to note for the weekday late news numbers is the lead-ins.  At 10:45 p.m., KYW had a 10.7 rating/16 share, then dropped to a 7.7 rating/12 share for the news at 11 p.m.  WCAU had a 14.5 rating/21 share at 10:45 then dropped to an 11.9 rating/20 share.  WPVI had a 9.6 rating/14 share at 10:45 then went up to a 13.1 rating/22 share at 11 p.m.  And WTXF had an 9 rating/12 share at 9:45 p.m. and ended up with an 8.2 rating/11share. 
       That means while KYW and WCAU both have around three point drops from their lead-ins on CBS and NBC respectively, WTXF held on to most of its lead-in from Fox and WPVI gained viewers from ABC. 
       Another interesting tidbit is none of the late shows suffered from the personnel changes made at 11 p.m.  WCAU's ratings went up nine-percent from last year with new chief meteorologist Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz.  WPVI's ratings went up 21-percent with Cecily Tynan replacing Dave Roberts on the weather.  KYW's 11 p.m. ratings improved 16-percent with Marc Howard and Kathy Orr replacing Larry Kane, Denise Saunders, and Chris Dunn.  And WTXF's ratings went up an incredible 64-percent with Dave Huddleston replacing Rich Noonan. 
Here are some other highlights from the ratings book.
From 7-9 a.m., locally produced "Good Day Philadelphia" on WTXF increased its lead over "The Early Show" on KYW, but "Good Morning America" on WPVI easily led with an 8.0 rating/22 share.
WPVI's mid-morning shows all went down in the ratings.  Tabloid favorites "Regis and Kelly" went down 12-percent, but still had a healthy lead at 9 a.m with a 6.3 rating/18 share.  At 10 a.m., The Wayne Brady Show" went down to a 3.9 rating/12 share and second place went to "Michael Jackson defender" Maury Povich, who had a 3.2 rating/9 share for WPHL. Locally produced "10" continued to improve with a 3 rating/8 share on WCAU.
At 11 a.m. KYW's "The Price is Right" had a slight lead over "The View" on WPVI.  Could viewers possibly be missing Lisa Ling?
At 3 p.m., the big winner was "Dr. Phil" on KYW who had a 5.7 rating/13 share right behind WPVI's "General Hospital," which has a 6.1 rating/14 share.  The strength of "Dr Phil" helped "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" and "Pyramid" increase their numbers at 4 p.m.  But the winner at 4 p.m. was "Oprah" on WPVI, which held off WCAU's 4 p.m. news, which beat the show in January.  "Oprah" had a 7.37 rating/15.2 share compared to a 6.36 rating/12.8 share for the news. The 5 p.m. news on WPVI took a little hit with the loss of Lisa Thomas-Laury and Marc Howard as its ratings went down 6-percent from a year ago.
At 6 p.m., WPVI's 15.6 rating/25 share was larger than the combined ratings of WCAU and KYW. 
The next ratings sweeps period is in May.

Star Search

People came from as far as Toronto, Canada and West Virginia to audition for "Star Search," which held an open casting call at the Franklin Wyndham hotel in Philadelphia this weekend.  Over 500-hopefuls wanted their chance to become the next Avril, Justin, Usher, or Britney.
Jeff Epstein, 31, a computer programmer who grew up in Langhorne, PA was so excited about the tryout, he didn't get any sleep the night before.  "This is a childhood dream," said the singer who performed in a backup group for Barbra Streisand's farewell concerts at Madison Square Garden in September of 2000.
Natalie Wood (yes that's her real name), 30, of Croydon, PA was holding her five-month-old daughter's pacifier for good luck.  A veteran of the Hedley Manor Dinner Theatre in Bucks County, Wood prepared a folk song for the 90-second audition.
Philadelphia is one of four cities that "Star Search" is conducting open auditions for its next nine-week season.  It airs on CBS Wednesday and Friday at 8 p.m.  Regular judges are Naomi Judd, Ben Stein, and Ahmet Zappa. 
Production manager Robert Wilrich said he hopes the updated version with Arsenio Hall lasts 11 years like the original series, which was hosted by Ed McMahon.
If you can't sing or dance, but love Diamonique, QVC is holding its annual open show host auditions Friday at their studio in West Chester.