Syndication Ratings: Syndies See Post-Sweep Swoon

Ratings dip as many shows begin reruns

Most syndicated shows went into their traditional post-sweep
swoon in the week ending March 14, as promotion and advertising dropped off
sharply and many programs began offering rerun fare.

Among magazines, for example, only CBS Television Distribution's
(CTD) The Insider was up from the
week before, improving 6% to 1.9, its second-highest rating of the season.  The
Insider's growth was sparked by
coverage of the March 7 Academy Awards and the March 5 funeral for Marie
Osmond's 18-year old adopted son, who had committed suicide the week
before.  The two events sent the show's
ratings up 22% on March 8 to 2.2.  CTD's Entertainment Tonight continued to lead
the magazine category, holding steady at 4.6, while growing 10% from last year
at this time.  CTD's Inside Edition was down 6% week-to-week.  NBCU's Access
and Warner Bros.' TMZ
were both flat at 2.1.  Warner Bros.' Extra was unchanged at 1.9.

Elsewhere in access, CTD's Wheel of Fortune lost 1% to a 7.3, but remained a top the game
shows.  CTD's Jeopardy coughed up 2%, down to 6.3.  Disney/ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire devalued 4% to 2.5.  Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud faded 7% to 1.3. 

Among talk shows, CTD's Oprah
was unchanged at 4.7.  CTD's Dr. Phil slipped 7% to 2.8.  Disney/ABC's Live With Regis and Kelly inched up 4% to 2.7.  Warner Bros.' Ellen Degeneres declined 2% to 2.4. 
NBCU's Maury dropped 5% to
2.0.  CTD's The Doctors also dipped 5% to 1.8. 
CTD's Rachael Ray eased 6% to
1.7.  NBCU's Jerry Springer and Steve
each were down 8% to 1.2. 
Warner Bros.' Bonnie Hunt was
flat at 0.8.  NBCU's Martha Stewart trailed the field, sinking 14% to 0.6. 

In court, CTD's Judge
ruled despite a 4% dip to 4.6. 
CTD's Judge Joe Brown was down
4% to 2.2.  Warner Bros.' People's Court skidded 9% to 2.1.  Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis slid 11% to 1.6. 
Twentieth's Judge Alex
declined 7% to 1.4.  Twentieth's Divorce
was flat at 1.4.  Warner Bros.' Judge Jeannine Pirro was the last item on the docket, falling 9% to

In rookie action, off-net sitcom champ NBCU's The Office was off 6% to 3.1.  In first-run, Sony's Dr. Oz was flat at 2.7. 
Twentieth's Are You Smarter Than a
Fifth Grader
held steady at 1.6. 
Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams
and Litton's Street Court were
unchanged at 1.2 and 0.6, respectively. 

Off-net sitcoms did little. 
Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men
dropped 2% to 5.3.  Twentieth's Family Guy gave back 5% to 3.5.  Sony's Seinfeld
stumbled 3% to 2.9.  CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond and Twentieth's King of the Hill were flat at 2.7 and
2.5, respectively.  Warner Bros.' George Lopez plunged 11% to 2.4.  Warner Bros.' Friends fell 5% to 2.1.  House of Payne was unchanged at
1.8.  Sony's King of Queens was down 6% to 1.6.