Ratings for shows across all genres took a tumble in the week ending March 18, hurt by March Madness preemptions and more sunlight.
The first week of Daylight Saving Time (the week ending March 18), was a big drag on syndication ratings. And making matters even worse were heavy preemptions for many shows due to the early rounds of the annual NCAA March Madness basketball tournament.
For example, only one magazine was able to grow from the previous session, Access Hollywood (NBCU), which improved 5% in households to a 2.1 and increased 8% among women 25-54 to a 1.4.
Leader Entertainment Tonight (CTD) slipped 5% to a 3.7; Inside Edition (CTD) eroded 13% to a new season low 2.7; TMZ (WBDTD) was flat at a 2.1; Extra (WBDTD), which did not air 26 times in the metered markets, still held steady at a 1.6; while The Insider (CTD) dropped 12% to a 1.5.
In daytime, most talk shows gave back some of their recent gains. Dr. Phil (CTD), which did not air 41 times in the metered markets due to basketball, and Dr. Oz (Sony) tied for the lead at a 2.6. Despite all the preemptions, Phil still maintained the edge in total viewers, averaging 77,000 more per show than Oz.
Phil was off 10% from the week before, but still up 24% from last year at this time. Oz was down 4% week to week.
Live with Kelly (Disney-ABC) skidded 4% to a 2.5; Ellen DeGeneres (WBDTD) fell 4% to a 2.3; while Maury (NBCU) also faded 4% to a 2.3, but was up 21% from last year.
Anderson (WBDTD) was the highest-rated rookie for the 27th consecutive week, holding steady at a 1.4, despite being preempted 15 times in large markets.
Jeremy Kyle (Debmar-Mercury) and We the People with Gloria Allred (Entertainment Studios) were flat at 0.6 and 0.4, respectively.
In latenight, new dating show Excused (CTD) had the largest increase of any first-run strip, growing 17% in households to a 0.7, and 25% among women 18-34.
Judge Judy (CTD) was the top court as usual, with a 6.3, down 11% from the prior session although up 54% from last year at this time. Judge Joe Brown (CTD) improved 4% to a 2.6; People’s Court (WBDTD) softened 5% to a 2.0; Judge Alex (Twentieth) declined 6% to a 1.6; while Judge Mathis (WBDTD) added 7% to a 1.6.
Among game shows, Wheel of Fortune (CTD) slowed down 3% from the week before to a 6.9; Jeopardy (CTD) tumbled 10% to a 5.4; Family Feud (Debmar-Mercury) finished 3% lower at a 2.8; and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Disney-ABC) lost 4% to a 2.4.
Turning to off-net, freshman Big Bang Theory (WBDTD) sank to its lowest rating of 2012, sliding 11% from the week before to a 6.6. Veteran Two and a Half Men (WBDTD) yielded 2% to a 5.8; Family Guy (Twentieth) retreated 16% to 3.8; How I Met Your Mother (Twentieth) rose 3% to a 3.0; Seinfeld (Sony) was down 8% to a 2.3; and Everybody Loves Raymond (CTD) receded 4% to a 2.3.
Among the new sitcoms following Big Bang, 30 eased 7% to a 1.3 in mostly latenight spots; It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Twentieth) perked up 9% to a 1.2; and Till Death (Sony) dropped 17% to a 0.5.
Off-Net Weekly Hours
On the weekend, Monk (NBCU) jumped to the top of the off-net hours with a sharp 26% increase from the previous frame to a new season high 2.9. Usual leader Criminal Minds (CTD) followed with a 2.7, down 7%. Law & Order (NBCU) slumped 10% to a 2.6; Cold Case (WBDTD) remained frozen at a 2.6 after a big advance in the prior session; while Without a Trace (WBDTD) gained 4% to a 2.4, tying Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBCU), which shed 11% to a 2.4.