Olympic Preemptions Hurt Some Syndie Shows


While NBC never got the Olympic rally it had hoped for in its second week of coverage, some first-run syndicated shows did bounce back, according to the live-plus-same day national household ratings for the week ending Feb. 26, the third full week of February sweeps.

While week-to-week ratings generally stabilized after predictably falling off from the previous week when the Olympics began, year-over-year numbers unsurprisingly remained mostly down--often significantly--due to many Olympics-related preemptions or time slot shifts.

Once again, many access and early-fringe shows suffered due to preemptions on NBC affiliates for the Olympic Zone pre-show, a locally targeted half-hour which aired at 7:30 p.m ET. 

But The Tyra Banks Show medaled for the week, recording the biggest week-to-week jump in first-run syndication, gaining 12% to tie its best household average rating at a 1.9. The show also posted its best-ever numbers in the women 18-49 demo (1.5) and women 25-54 (1.4).

Genre giant Oprah was actually the only talk show to trend down on the week, though its drop was just 1% to a 6.8. Dr. Phil was flat at a 5.3, though both Oprah and Phil experienced 20% drops from a year ago.

Elsewhere in talk, Live With Regis & Kelly was up 3% to a 3.7, Maury gained 7% on the week to a 3.1, and Ellen tied a season-high 2.7, an 8% jump for the week. Despite the Olympics, Ellen also actually gained 4% year-to-year in a week when her average was buoyed by a Feb. 21 appearance by American Idol judge Simon Cowell.

Court was a similar story, with most shows up or down only slightly on the week, but down more significantly year-to-year. Judge Judy was off 2% to a 4.7, down 13%for the year. Judge Joe Brown gained 3% to a 3.2, a 16% drop from a year ago. The People’s Court actually bucked the trend; its 3.0 average was not only up 3% on the week but flat year-over-year. Divorce Court was flat for the week at a 2.8, off 10% on the year, and Judge Mathis was up 4% on the week to a 2.6, also off 10% year-to-year. Rookie Judge Alex was flat for the week at a 2.3.

Of the entertainment newsmagazines, The Insider was the only show to gain week-over-week or year-over-year; it was up 4% in each category to a 3.0. Entertainment Tonight (5.4), Inside Edition (3.6) and Access Hollywood were each flat for the week.

Entertainment Tonight

also had a strong performance Monday night for its post-Academy Awards edition, recording a 6.8 rating/11 share for primary runs in 56 metered markets. Access Hollywood averaged a 3.5/7 in 53 metered markets.