March: In Like a Lamb

Mar 24, 2003  •  Post A Comment

While ratings for the first full week of March typically are down following the plethora of promotion from the February sweeps, several series managed to buck the trend with some even hitting season highs for the week ending March 9, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Among talk shows, only two series were able to gain ground. Sony’s Ricki Lake rose 6 percent to a season best of 1.9. Also rising was Universal’s Crossing Over With John Edward with an 8 percent jump to a 1.4.
On the other end of the spectrum, three veteran series in the genre were down by double digits, with talk show leader Oprah dipping 12 percent to a 6.0, Universal’s Maury dropping 14 percent to a 3.2 and Paramount’s Montel tumbling 11 percent to a 1.4.
Among the rookie first-run crowd, only two series showed improvement in households. Telepictures’ Celebrity Justice was up 9 percent to a 1.2 and Buena Vista’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire jumped 3 percent to a 3.5 score. Taking the hardest hits percentagewise among rookies were King World’s Dr. Phil, which dropped 9 percent to a 1.2, Twentieth’s Good Day Live, which was off 10 percent to a 0.9, and Telepictures’ Caroline Rhea, which dove 20 percent to an all-time-low 0.8 score.
Within the court show ranks, only Sony’s Judge Hatchett, up 6 percent to a 1.8, was able to improve on the previous week’s performance.
Heated competition among off-net strips resulted in a tie for the top spot, with Warner Bros.’ Friends and Sony’s Seinfeld hitting 7.4 after flip-flopping numerous times this year. Friends was down 5 percent, while Seinfeld dipped 4 percent.
The only gainer in the crowd was King World’s Everybody Loves Raymond, which matched its season best with a 3 percent climb to a 7.0.