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NCAA Hoops Tourney Slams Syndie Series

Apr 12, 2004  •  Post A Comment

March Madness continued to wreak havoc on syndie fare during the week ending March 28, particularly in access and early-fringe time slots where shows were either pre-empted or pitted against the NCAA Basketball Tournament.
Syndie viewing was down an average of 784,000 households compared with the week before, according to Nielsen Media Research. Few series were able to buck the trend, though Buena Vista’s “Live With Regis and Kelly” saw a 10 percent week-to-week ratings spike with a guest-host all-star lineup of Donald Trump, Jay Leno and Ben Affleck filling in for a vacationing Kelly Ripa. The series averaged a 3.4 for the week.
Other talk shows with gains were King World’s “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which grew 9 percent to a 6.1, and “Dr. Phil,” which was up 9 percent to a 4.8.
Access time periods took the hardest hits, with no newsmagazines, none of the top five off-network sitcoms and only one of the top game shows improving week to week.
Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” was the top magazine for the week with a 4.9 but was down 8 percent. King World’s “Inside Edition” held even at a 3.5, NBC Enterprises’ “Access Hollywood” slipped 3 percent to a 3.0, Telepictures’ “Extra” tumbled 4 percent to a 2.7 and “Celebrity Justice” was flat at a 1.2.
Among off-net fare, Sony’s “Seinfeld” took home top off-net sitcom honors but slipped 2 percent to a 6.3. Warner Bros.’ “Friends” fell 3 percent to a 5.8, King World’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” dropped 2 percent to a 5.2, Carsey-Werner-Mandabach’s “That ’70s Show” held even at a 4.0 and Twentieth’s “King of the Hill” was unchanged at a 3.3.
The game show genre saw “Wheel of Fortune” slide 2 percent to a 8.7. The only game show to improve was fellow King World strip “Jeopardy!” up 1 percent to a 7.3. Buena Vista’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” was even at a 3.4, and Tribune’s “Family Feud” fell 4 percent to a 2.3.