Michael Jackson may be breathing easier after a jury found him not guilty of all charges, but massive preemptions for the verdict June 13 and U.S. Open golf coverage June 16 and 17 made it a bad week all the way around for syndicated shows.
Nielsen national barter rankings were down significantly, with No. 1- and No. 2-rated Wheel of Fortune (6.9) and Jeopardy (5.8) each hitting season lows and down from the previous week and year.
Season-to-date, however, Wheel is essentially flat (down 1%), while Jeopardy is up 7%.
The same fate awaited the top two talkers, with The Oprah Winfrey Show (5.6) and Dr. Phil (4.1) both down. For the season, however, Oprah is up 10% compared to the previous year and Dr. Phil is up 2%.
Of the top-five talk shows, Live with Regis & Kelly, which airs mostly in the mornings, appeared to be least affected by the preemptions. It remained flat for the week at a 3.4, but down 3% from the same week last year. It remains off 5% season-to-date.
The Ellen DeGeneres Show at a 1.8 was down 5% from the previous week, but its rating soared 20% over the year-ago week. Season to date, meanwhile, Ellen is up a hefty 17% from 1.8 to 2.1.
Court’s Judge Mathis (2.4) held steady during the down week, staying flat , which was up 9% from the previous year. It has been enjoying a healthy season, up 14% season to date from a 2.2 to a 2.5.