Syndicated shows got hit with a double whammy in the week ending March 16 and most shows lost ground.
It was the second week of daylight savings time and average PUT levels sank by more than 4 million viewers from the week before. On top of that the mystery of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, which vanished on March 8 with 239 passengers and crew, drove viewers to news networks and away from syndication.
In daytime, the only one of 17 talk shows able to muster a gain from the week before was NBCUniversal's Trisha, which rose 20% both week-to-week and year-to-year to a 0.6.
As for the rest, 10 talkers were down and six were flat.
At the top of the talk chart, CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil dipped 6% to a 3.3 but still grew 18% from last year at this time and led the chat pack for the 10th consecutive week. Phil also finished first by a wide margin among women 25-54 with a 1.8 in the key demo.
Disney/ABC's Live With Kelly and Michael was the No. 2 talker, slipping 12% to a 2.9 but improving 16% from last year.
Warner Bros.' Ellen remained third, tumbling 13% to a 2.6. Not far behind, Sony Pictures Television's Dr. Oz was preempted in several markets and was off 9% to a 2.0 but still tied NBCU's Maury for fourth place. Maury held steady at a 2.0 in households and finished first in talk among women 18-34 with a 1.1 in the young demo.
Sophomore NBCU's Steve Harvey was unchanged at a 1.8 but was up the most from last year at this time, climbing 38%. The already canceled Disney/ABC's Katie sagged 12% to a new season low 1.5.
CTD's Rachael Ray, which had the largest weekly gain in the prior session, receded 18% to a 1.4, tying Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams, which was flat at a 1.4.
NBCU's Steve Wilkos eased 13% to a 1.3. CTD's The Doctors declined 8% to a 1.2. NBCU's Jerry Springer softened 21% to a 1.1, while Meredith's The Better Show was unchanged at a 0.2.
SPT's Queen Latifah was the highest rated new talker by a significant margin, winning the rookie race for the 23rd time this season, while holding steady at a 1.0.
The already canceled Warner Bros.' Bethenny lost 13% to a new series low 0.7 and further back CTD's The Test was flat at a 0.6.
In late night, CTD's Arsenio Hall yielded 13% to a 0.7.
Court shows were also lower across the board.
Top gaveler CTD's Judge Judy gave back 9% to a 7.1 but was still up 8% from last year at this time. Judy was also the No. 1 show in syndication for the 27th time in the last 29 weeks.
Warner Bros.' People's Court dropped 10% to a 1.8. Twentieth's Divorce Court slid 6% to a 1.5. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis and the already canceled Twentieth's Judge Alex both eroded 18% to a 1.4, while MGM's Paternity Court trailed with a 9% decline to a 1.0.
In access, all of the top six magazines were down week-to-week except for Warner Bros.' Extra , which held steady at a 1.6 and jumped 14% from last year. The largest year-to-year gain of any show in the genre.
Of course, the magazines were boosted by coverage of the Academy Awards in the previous frame.
Leader CTD's Entertainment Tonight slipped 13% from the week before to a 3.5. CTD's Inside Edition slumped 6% to 3.1. Warner Bros.' TMZ was down 5% to a 1.8. NBCU's Access Hollywood backtracked 16% to a 1.6 and landed in a tie with Extra, while CTD's The Insider declined 19% to a 1.3. Further down the magazine rack, MGM's RightThisMinute slowed down 8% to a 1.1. Twentieth's Dish Nation was unchanged at a 1.0. The recently canceled Trifecta's America Now, weakened 25% to a 0.3 while Trifecta's rookie OK! TV rose 50% from a 0.2 to a 0.3.
Game shows were also tepid.
CTD's Wheel of Fortune faded 5% to a 6.9. CTD's Jeopardy! shrank 7% to a 6.6. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud fell 10% to a 5.2, while Disney/ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire devalued 8% to a 2.2.
Among off net sitcoms, leader Warner Bros.' The Big Bang Theory retreated 8% from the previous week to a 5.9. Twentieth's newcomer Modern Family sank 7% to a 4.3. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men deteriorated 11% to a 3.4. Twentieth's Family Guy was down 3% to a 2.9. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother sagged 9% to a 2.0. SPT's Seinfeld stayed at a 1.9, while Twentieth's rookie The Cleveland Show and Warner Bros.' Friends were flat at a 1.8.