Syndication Ratings Hurt By News Preemptions, Interruptions


In a week marked by massive preemptions and interruptions for coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings, along with increased viewer erosion, no syndication strips gained versus the prior week during the last full frame preceding the start of the May sweeps.

According to Nielsen results ended April 22, CBS Television Distribution’s magazine leader Entertainment Tonight was able to keep its losses to a minimum, despite encountering 23 news preemptions on that Monday and Tuesday night in major CBS markets.

ET was down 11% to 5.0 from the prior week’s 5.6, but that was still 6% better than the year-ago mark of 4.7.

CTD’s talk leader Oprah hit a new season low of 5.2, slumping 15% from prior week and 17% from last year—airing in mostly early fringe periods around news.

Consequently, the gap between the talk queen and CTD’s Dr. Phil closed to its narrowest point this season in non-holiday week (Dr. Phil earned a 4.5, down 6% for week and 12% for the year).

Among court, none of the nine improved from the previous week but Warner Bros.’ No. 4-ranked TV jurist Judge Mathis climbed 9% versus last year, from a 2.2 to 2.4. It fell 4% for the week, off from a 2.5.

CTD’s top-rated Judge Judy (4.3) closed down 9% for the week, when it grabbed a 4.7, and 7% from a 4.6 during the same period a year ago.

Among games, CTD’s leader Wheel of Fortune, cleared primarily in access, hit a new season low of 7.2—a decline of 8% from the 7.8 it attracted the previous week and 10% from the 8.0 it got during the corresponding week last year.