Preemptions on CBS affiliates spins numbers for many shows, especially in the larger markets.
A majority of syndicated shows stalled in the week ending March 22 as March Madness bounced many shows on CBS affiliates out of their usual time periods and represented stronger than usual competition in many markets for some others.
One of the shows most preempted by the annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament was CBS Television Distribution’s Entertainment Tonight, which is cleared on numerous CBS stations in large cities and did not air in16 of the top 30 markets, including all of the top four. This caused March 19 and 20 to be broken out, leaving ET with a three-day average.
Still, the No. 1 newsmagazine was up 5% from the week before to a 4.4, after getting a 10% boost to a 4.6 for a show featuring a March 16 report on the latest arrests in the Anna Nicole Smith drug case.
On the other hand, CBS Television Distribution’s Inside Edition dropped 3% to a 2.9; Warner Bros.’ TMZ lost 4% to a 2.2 and fell into a third-place tie with NBCU’s Access Hollywood, which gained 5% to a 2.2; CBS Television Distribution’s The Insider held steady at a1.9 and Warner Bros.’ Extra advanced 6% to a1.8.
Elsewhere in access, games were narrowly mixed. CBS Television Distribution’s Wheel of Fortune inched up1% to a 7.2; CBS Television Distribution’s Jeopardy! slid 7% to a 5.5; Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire continued to devalue, falling 4% to a new season low 2.3; while Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud gained 7% to a 1.5.
CBS Television Distribution’s The Doctors was the top-rated rookie for the ninth week in a row (including ties), despite dipping 5% to a 1.8. NBCU’s Deal or No Deal was right behind with an unchanged1.7; Warner Bros.’ Bonnie Hunt dropped 10% to a 0.9; and Sony’s Judge Karen, Debmar-Mercury’s Trivial Pursuit: America Plays and Program Partners’ Family Court with Judge Penny were all flat at 0.9, 0.6 and 0.5, respectively.
Court shows were fairly solid, with four judges managing to grow from the week before. CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Joe Brown, which has been the second-highest rated gaveler in syndication every week for the past 10 years, was up 5% in households to a 2.2 and grew 13 among women 18-49; Warner Bros.’ People’s Court climbed 5% to a 2.0; Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis was up 7% to a 1.6; and Sony’s Judge David Young jumped 14% to a 0.8.
CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Judy continued to be the supreme court, with a 4.1, which was double the rating of most other shows, although it was off 9% from the previous week.
Among talk shows, CBS Television Distribution’s Oprah tumbled 9% to a 4.9; CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil, which was the only show moving up the week before, got hit with an 18% loss to a 3.1 thanks to numerous basketball preemptions; Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis and Kelly and Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres were flat at a 2.6 and a 2.2, respectively; NBCU’s Maury was up 6% to a 1.8; and CBS Television Distribution’s Rachael Ray was down 6% to a 1.7.
The top off-net sitcoms were weak. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men declined 4% to a 4.8; Twentieth’s Family Guy fell 3% to a 3.8; Sony’s Seinfeld slipped 8% to a 3.4; CBS Television Distribution’s Everybody Loves Raymond was flat at a 3.1; but Warner Bros.’ George Lopez Show rose 4% to a 2.8.
New off-net weekly hours were led by CBS Television Distribution’s CSI: NY, which added 3% to a 3.4; NBCU’s House had its ratings assessment drop 8% to a 2.2; Twentieth’s Boston Legal lost 11% to a 1.6; and NBCU’s Monk dived 12% to a 1.5.
First-run action hour Disney-ABC’s Legend of the Seeker was flat at a 1.7; the off-cable Litton’s Storm Stories rallied 8% to a 1.3; and the off-TVB Debmar-Mercury’s House of Payne was down 4% to a 2.2.