Basketball Tournament Contributes to Ratings Dips

Apr 5, 2004  •  Post A Comment

March Madness on CBS sent most syndicated fare into a tailspin due to competition or pre-emptions during the week ending March 21, but rookies managed to dodge the bullet, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Four of the five first-run rookie strips made gains, with Telepictures’ “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” leading the charge at a 1.9, up 6 percent week to week despite being preempted in half a dozen markets around the country. Tied for second place was NBC Enterprises’ “Starting Over,” up 10 percent to a 1.2, and Telepictures’ “The Sharon Osbourne Show,” which was even for the week.
Twentieth Television’s “On-Air With Ryan Seacrest” scored a ratings spike March 18 with the appearance of Regis Philbin. The show scored a 1.4 for the day, as well as the strip’s best-ever demographic numbers among women 18 to 49 and women 25 to 54. For the week, the series averaged a 1.1 rating, tying King World’s “Living It Up! With Ali & Jack,” which was also up 10 percent.
Despite the freshmen ratings spikes, veterans weren’t as fortunate. Only one series among all the genre leaders, “Blind Date,” saw any growth for the week with its 1.5, up 7 percent.
Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” dipped 13 percent to a 5.4 for the week after being bumped by basketball in 23 markets. King World’s “The Oprah Winfrey Show” hit a season low, thanks to an 8 percent drop to a 5.6. Paramount’s “Judge Judy” slipped 4 percent to a 4.9.
Among off-network fare, Sony’s “Seinfeld” was down 2 percent to a 6.4, while Sony’s freshman off-net strip “King of Queens” was down 6 percent to a 2.9.