Lower Viewership Cuts Into Syndie Ratings

Apr 10, 2007  •  Post A Comment

A continued downturn in audience viewing levels led to a tumble in syndication ratings, but some series were able to buck the trend.

Since the early start of Daylight Saving Time this year, ratings have fallen across the board. For the week ending April 1, according to Nielsen Media Research, the number of households using television (HUT) continued its slide, falling by an average of 1.3 million viewers during the week, leading most shows to a ratings dip.

Exceptions to the rule, however, were found in three of the four first-run genres. Among newsmagazines, both “Entertainment Tonight” and “The Insider” saw growth, helped by the end of basketball preemptions for the NCAA Tournament. “Entertainment Tonight” rose 9 percent to a 5.1 score, bolstered especially on March 26, when autopsy results for Anna Nicole Smith were released. The strip earned a 5.6 that day. “The Insider,” meanwhile, had the biggest jump of any syndicated strip, rising 13 percent to a 2.6 score.

Among talk shows, only “Oprah Winfrey” improved, coming off a season low to rise 6 percent to a 5.6 rating. “Live With Regis and Kelly” took the hardest hit during a repeat week, falling 24 percent to a season-low 2.7.

Game shows held up relatively well, with only one series down. “Wheel of Fortune” slid 7 percent to a 7.9 rating, but it still led the pack. “Jeopardy” rose 3 percent to a 6.3, as did “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” at a 3.2. “Family Feud” held even for the week at a 1.8 rating.

(Editor: Horowitz)