The combination of Passover, Good Friday and Easter led to lackluster syndication ratings during the holiday week ended April 8.
Only a handful of shows improved from the prior frame, mostly in the talk show arena.
The biggest week-to-week gainer was Warner Bros.’ Ellen (up 10% to 2.3), which benefited from three on-location shows done at Universal’s Orlando resort. It was followed by NBC Universal’s Martha Stewart (rising 8% to 1.4) as the host provided Easter cooking tips and CBS’ Dr. Phil (2% higher to 4.4).
On the downside, CBS’ Oprah dropped 2% to 5.5; Buena Vista TV’s Live with Regis (slipping 8% to 2.4) fell to a season low with a week of reruns; and NBCU’s Maury lost 5% to 2.1.
In year-to-year comparisons, all the talk shows were down by double digits except for three in the single-digit range: Ellen (off 4%), Dr. Phil and Oprah (each declining 8%).
Most court and all game shows also fell from a year ago, with CBS’ Wheel of Fortune and Fremantle’s Family Feud losing double-digit ground.
Only two first-run strips rose versus last year: CBS’ Entertainment Tonight (up 4% to 5.1 and even with prior week) and corporate sibling Inside Edition (3% higher to 3.3 and on par with the previous week).