Syndie Strips Lose Out With Basketball

Mar 30, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Due to college basketball and a slew of repeat episodes, many syndicated strips saw declines for the week ended March 20.

Among the most hard-hit strips were Paramount’s “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider,” which run on the CBS owned-and-operated stations and faced major pre-emptions Thursday, March 17, and Friday, March 18. “ET” scored a 4.5 national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. That was down 18 percent from the previous week and down 15 percent over the show’s weekly performance from last year.

But basketball helped change “ET’s” usual landscape; it lost its primary runs to pre-emption in 20 of the top 50 markets and all of the top five for the two days.

Spinoff “The Insider” scored a 2.3, down 15 percent for the week and 18 percent from last year. “Insider” was pre-empted in four of the top five markets Thursday and Friday.

Other access newsmagazines had difficulties as well. King World’s “Inside Edition” dropped 11 percent for the week to a 3.3, a 6 percent decrease from last year, while NBC Universal’s “Access Hollywood” was unchanged for the week with a 2.5 and down 19 percent for the year. Warner Bros.’ “Extra” was the one exception in the genre, growing 5 percent for the week but dropping 18 percent year to year. Warner Bros.’ “Celebrity Justice” was unchanged for the week with a 1.0 and down 17 percent from last year.

The top off-net sitcom strips were all down for the week. King World’s “Everybody Loves Raymond” scored a 6.6, down 6 percent for the week but up 25 percent from last year. Sony’s “Seinfeld” dropped 2 percent to a 6.2, a 3 percent decline from the previous year. Warner Bros.’ “Friends” scored a 5.0 for the week, down 7 percent, and a 17 drop from last year.

The top talker, King World’s repeat-saddled “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” hit a 6.1, down 13 percent for the week. Although “Oprah” scored its worst week of the season, it was still up 9 percent over last year. The top courtroom show, Paramount’s “Judge Judy,” dropped 2 percent for the week to a 5.1. “Judy,” which lost three of its top 6 primary clearances due to pre-emptions, was up 4 percent from last year.