MORE MARCH SADNESS
The second week of March Madness, the week ended March 27, caused some
problems for syndicated shows, with about 25 hours of programming preempted for
basketball on CBS affiliates.
The good news: That was about 11 hours fewer than the first week of the
NCAA men's basketball tournament. Regaining almost a dozen hours, combined
with fresh episodes from some strips, helped several shows recoup some of their
basketball ratings losses.
The biggest improvement was a 33% jump by the just renewed NBC reality
show Starting Over, which averaged a 1.2 in
households, according to Nielsen.
Also on the rebound were The Oprah Winfrey
Show (with a 6.6), Dr. Phil
(5.3), Jerry Springer (2.4) and
The Ellen DeGeneres Show (2.3).
Rookie The Insider was up 9%, to a
2.5 rating, despite losing its primary runs to basketball in more than a dozen
markets (including four of the top five) on March 24-25.
Insider's seasoned cousin,
Entertainment Tonight, lost primary
telecasts to basketball in 24 metered markets for two days. But it still was
the top magazine show with a 4.5, up 2% in households. Inside Edition was down 3% to a 3.2;
Access Hollywood was unchanged at 2.5;
Extra was down 4% to a 2.2.
Both the two top shows were off: Jeopardy! 4%, to a 7.3, and Wheel of Fortune 3%, to an 8.7—still a rating that
would have its rivals turning cartwheels.