Basketball Bounces Several Syndies

Preemptions for March Madness play havoc with ratings in the week ending March 24. Of the talk shows, only Wendy Williams and Steve post week-to-week improvement.

The onset of March Madness basketball caused massive upheaval and numerous preemptions of shows cleared on CBS affiliates in the session ending March 24. Making matters worse, some shows did not air due to coverage of the Mueller Report’s completion on March 22.

For example, only two of the 14 talk shows moved up from the week before. Wendy Williams recovered 7% to a 1.5 live-plus-same-day national Nielsen rating, matching its season high in the host’s third week back after a two-month absence.

Up by an even greater percentage was Steve Harvey’s Steve, which flirted with its season high, jumping 8% to a 1.3, even though it was in repeats for part of the frame.

Top talker Dr. Phil, which was in reruns on two days, was not seen in many markets due to the NCAA tournament and eased 11% to a 2.5. However, Phil extended its weekly winning streak in the category to 133 in a row.

Live with Kelly and Ryan was talk’s second-highest shows for a fourth straight week, dipping 4% to a 2.2, with taped and repackaged telecasts.

Ellen DeGeneres was further back with a flat 1.9 in third place.


Judge Judy aired encore episodes for most of the session and took a 9% breather to a 6.3, but easily managed to outperform all syndicated shows for almost unheard of 37 consecutive weeks.

Judy’s creation Hot Bench, in repeats on four of the five days, nevertheless rose 5% to a 2.3.

Family Feud regained sole possession of first place in the game show race for the first time since the week of Feb. 11, although it was unchanged at a 5.9.

Fellow quiz programs Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune both dropped 11% to 5.6 and 5.5, respectively.

Entertainment Tonight and sister show Inside Edition each slipped 10% to a 2.8, but led the magazines.

Access, TMZ, Extra and Daily Mail TV all did well to hold steady at 1.3, 1.3, 1.1 and 1.0, respectively, despite heavy basketball preemptions.

The week’s top-rated daytime talk shows in the women 25-54 demo were:

  • Dr. Phil (1.0, -9% from the week before)
  • Live with Kelly and Ryan (0.9, -10%)
  • Ellen DeGeneres (0.8, unchanged), tied with Wendy Williams (0.8, unchanged) and Maury (0.8, +14%)
  • Steve Wilkos (0.6, unchanged)
  • Steve (0.5, unchanged), tied with The Real (0.5, +25%)

In the household rating rankings that follow, % change is from the previous week; * indicates a new season-high rating; ** indicates a new season low; NC indicates no change from the previous week; NA mean not applicable.


Dr. Phil (CTD) 2.5 -11%

Live with Kelly and Ryan (Disney-ABC) 2.2 -4%

Ellen DeGeneres (WBDTD) 1.9 NC

Wendy Williams (Debmar-Mercury) 1.5 +7%

Maury (NBCU) 1.4 NC

Steve (NBCU) 1.3 +8%

Rachael Ray (CTD) 1.1 NC

Steve Wilkos (NBCU) 1.1 NC

Dr. Oz (Sony) 1.0 -9%

The Real (WBDTD) 0.7 NC

The Doctors (CTD) 0.6 NC

Pickler & Ben (Disney-ABC) 0.4 NC

Jerry Springer (NBCU) 0.4 NC


Face the Truth (CTD) 0.8 NC

Caught in Providence (20th Television) 0.6 NC


Judge Judy (CTD) 6.3 -9%

Hot Bench(CTD) 2.3 +5%

People’s Court (WBDTD) 1.4 -7%

Judge Mathis (WBDTD) 1.0 NC

Divorce Court (20th Television) 0.7 NC


Family Feud (Debmar-Mercury/FMNA) 5.9 NC

Jeopardy (CTD) 5.6 -11%

Wheel of Fortune (CTD) 5.5 -11%

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Disney-ABC) 1.6 -6%

Funny You Should Ask(Entertainment Studios) 0.5 NC


Right This Minute (Disney-ABC) 1.2 -8%


Dateline M-F (NBCU) 1.2 -14%

Live PD: Police Patrol (Sony) 1.0 -9%

True Crime Files (20th Television) 0.3 NC


Chicago P.D. (NBCU) 1.0 -9%


Entertainment Tonight (CTD) 2.8 -10%

Inside Edition (CTD) 2.8 -10%


Access (NBCU) 1.3 NC

Extra (WBDTD) 1.1 NC

Daily Mail TV (CTD) 1.0 NC

Page Six TV(20th Television) 0.6 -14%

Celebrity Page (Trifecta) 0.3 +50%


Big Bang Theory (WBDTD) 4.7 +4%

Last Man Standing (20th Television) 2.4 NC

Modern Family (20th Television) 1.9 NC

Family Guy (20th Television) 1.6* +14%

Two and a Half Men (WBDTD) 1.4 NC

The Goldbergs(Sony) 1.4 NC

Mike and Molly (WBDTD) 1.2 +9%

Black-ish (Disney-ABC) 1.1 NC

Two Broke Girls (WBDTD) 1.0 NC

Seinfeld (Sony) 1.0 NC


Dateline Weekly (NBCU) 3.3 +3%

NCIS: New Orleans (CTD) 1.4 NC

Chicago P.D. (NBCU) 1.4 +17%

Law & Order: Criminal Intent (NBCU) 1.3 -7%

Castle (Disney-ABC) 1.0 NC

Madam Secretary (CTD) 1.0 +11%

Major Crimes (WBDTD) 1.0 +11%

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