Syndication Ratings: March Madness puts a dent in syndie shows

Apr 2, 2001  •  Post A Comment

College basketball was madness to more than a few syndicated series as pre-emptions disrupted the schedules of several shows both during the weekdays and on the weekends, according to Nielsen Media Research for the week ending March 18.

However, the young male demographic coveted by the NCAA tournament didn’t completely defect from weekend fare, since several series found their numbers up despite losing some of the demographic.

Syndicated strips on the CBS stations were faced with either pre-emptions or bumps into late-night in a number of markets as March Madness hit the airwaves on March 15 and 16. As a result, several series typically on the CBS stations saw declining numbers highlighted by King World Productions’ “Inside Edition,” which dropped 21 percent in households to a 2.7 for fourth place in the genre for the first time this season.

Paramount Domestic Television’s “Entertainment Tonight” suffered similar consequences, with 18 metered markets bumping or pre-empting the series on March 15 and 16. The strip subsequently fell 13 percent to a 5.9 rating.

The NBC duo of “Extra” and “Access Hollywood” reaped the benefits of the pre-emptions, climbing 6 percent and 8 percent, respectively. “Extra” finished the week averaging a 3.3 in households, while “Access” moved to third place among newsmagazines with a 2.8.

Despite the disruptions over the weekend, series such as “The X-Files,” “ER” and “VIP” managed to gain ground.

“The X-Files” took first place in households among weekly hours with a 3.8 rating, up 9 percent. Among the key male 18 to 34 demographic, the series took second place with a 2.4 rating, falling only to Columbia TriStar Television Distribution’s weekend runs of “Seinfeld,” which scored a 2.8. Among men 50-plus, the younger-skewing series falls to fifth place with a 1.8.

Paramount’s weekend versions of “Entertainment Tonight” finished the week second in households, up 6 percent to a 3.5, but failed to crack the top 10 in men 18 to 34. Instead, the series gained ground within the gender with a third-place finish among men 50-plus with a 2.3 rating.

Freshman hit “Andromeda” slipped 12 percent in households for Tribune Entertainment but finished tied for third with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution’s “ER” at a 3.0. Within the demos, “Andromeda” finished in first place among men 35 to 49 with a 2.7 rating. The series also found eyeballs among men 18 to 34 with a 2.0 rating for third place. Older males, however, often found other activities, since the series fell to ninth place with men 50-plus at a 1.5 score.

Off-network airings of “ER” were clearly femme-oriented, since the series slipped completely from younger demos despite finishing third in households. Among men 18 to 34, the hour didn’t crack the top 10, and among men 35 to 49, the series was in 10th place with a 1.5 rating.

MGM’s series “Stargate SG-1” took fifth place in households despite slipping 15 percent to a 2.8. That series scored best with the men 35 to 49 crowd with a fourth place finish and a 2.1 rating in the category. Males 18 to 34 also paid attention with a 1.6 rating, tying “Xena” and “The Lost World.” Among the older crowd, however, the series fell off the map of top ten shows.

Studios USA’s “Xena” slipped 16 percent in households to a 2.7 rating, ranking fourth in men 18 to 34 and ninth among men 35 to 49 with a 1.6 rating. Columbia TriStar’s “VIP” doesn’t make an appearance in any of the male demos despite rising 4 percent in households to a 2.6.