The week of April 11 was a triple whammy for syndies. Hit with the strange confluence of Condoleeza Rice, daylight saving time, and religious holidays, ratings fell.
Rice's testimony before the 9/11 commission on April 8 caused widespread preemptions, while traveling for Passover and Easter combined with longer daylight hours to keep people away from their TVs. As a result, average viewing declined by approximately 1,253,000 households, or 7% from the prior week.
As usual, access shows were hit hardest by the time change. The top-three access and magazines dropped by double digits. Among the off-net sitcoms, Sony's Seinfeld
fell 11% to a 5.6 rating, Warner Bros.' Friends
slid 8% to 5.4, King World's Everybody Loves Raymond
lost 9% to 5.0, and Carsey-Werner-Mandabach's That '70s Show
dropped 11% to 3.4.
In daytime, both court and talk shows were weak. Court shows with double-digit losses from the previous week: Twentieth's Divorce Court, which took a 12% hit to 2.3, a new season low, and Sony's Judge Hatchett, which plunged 15% to 1.7, equaling its season low. Top jurist Paramount's Judge Judy
tumbled 4% to 4.6.
In talk, Paramount's Montel Williams
skidded 15% to 2.2 and matched its lowest number of the season. Universal's The Jerry Springer Show
dove 13% to 2.0, a new season nadir. Rookies Warner Bros.' Sharon Osbourne
faded 9% to 1.0, and King World's Living It Up! With Ali & Jack
also was down 9% to 1.0. King World's top talker Oprah
lost 5% to 5.8.
Warner Bros.'The Ellen DeGeneres Show
may not be syndication's strongest household performer, but it's delivering the best daytime ratings among key female demographics that stations in the top 55 markets have seen in 18 years. In the February sweeps, Ellen
scored a 2.1 rating/17 share among women 18-49 and a 2.4/17 among women 25-54. The last time stations came even close to those numbers was in February 1990.