Syndie Shows Hit Holiday Doldrums

Jan 12, 2004  •  Post A Comment

An unfortunate annual TV tradition for syndicators continued the week ending Dec. 28, as viewing levels declined sharply during the holidays. The audience was down by more than 4 million viewers Christmas Day, according to Nielsen Media Research data.
While most shows posted ratings declines, several rookies dodged the bullet, with two, “Living It Up! With Ali & Jack” and “The Wayne Brady Show,” hitting all-time highs.
Telepictures’ “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” sat atop the first-run freshmen for the seventh straight week, running even with the previous week at a 1.6 household rating. King World’s “Living It Up! With Ali & Jack” soared 18 percent to a series high 1.3, tying Telepictures’ “Sharon Osbourne” for second. With Ms. Osbourne on leave to take care of her injured husband, Ozzy, the series still managed to rise 8 percent after hitting an all-time low the previous week.
Buena Vista’s “The Wayne Brady Show” had its best week ever with a 9 percent gain to a 1.2. The week was capped by an appearance of “American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard on Christmas Eve, which pulled the show up for the whole week with a 1.5 on Wednesday. NBC freshman “Starting Over” dipped slightly to a 0.9 rating for a 10 percent drop.
Among veterans, King World’s “Dr. Phil” took the biggest hit, dropping 21 percent to a 4.1 and setting a new low for the show this season. The second-biggest drop in daytime was Paramount court show strip “Judge Joe Brown,” which fell 9 percent to a 3.2.
Scoring season lows for the week were King World’s “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy!” off 14 and 15 percent, respectively, to 7.9 and 6.2. “Friends” was down 16 percent to a 4.8, “Everybody Loves Raymond” dropped 13 percent to a 4.7, “That ’70s Show” tumbled 16 percent to a 3.2 and “Will & Grace” slipped 14 percent to a 3.0. Each of those series posted season lows.
On the bright side, Universal’s “Blind Date” was the only dating strip to move up in the charts, rising 13 percent to a 1.8. The other series in the genre were all unchanged.