Pope Preemptions Depress Ratings


The reruns and weaker episodes that fill the syndicated landscape before the start of the May sweeps, combined with two days of preemptions for coverage of the Pope’s election, resulted in  lackluster ratings for the week ended April 24.

Nielsen national barter rankings show that, as usual, top off-net sitcoms airing in access time periods dominated first-run fare in adults 18-49.

Seinfeld led all weekday strips in the 18-49 demo with a 3.7 AA/4.3 GAA* rating, compared to a 3.6 AA/4.5 GAA for Everybody Loves Raymond and a 3.3 AA/4.1 GAA for Friends. The weekend version of Seinfeld led all syndicated shows in the key demo, earning a 3.9 AA/4.7 GAA.

Top-rated Wheel of Fortune, hitting a new season low of an 8.1 AA household rating, nonetheless led all first-run access strips in adults 18-49. It earned a 2.0 AA rating in the demo, versus a 1.9 for Entertainment Tonight, 1.7 for Jeopardy (matching its season low with a 6.9 household rating), 1.1 for Access Hollywood, anda  1.0 for Extra.

In the household rankings, most magazines declined slightly for the week.

AA-Average audience.
GAA-Gross average audience, which includes duplicated viewing.