National ratings for most syndicated shows edged higher in the week ending April 4 as the NCAA basketball tournament wound down and spring breaks started up for many younger viewers.
Court strips were the hottest group, with three gavelers showing double-digit growth over last year.
Paramount's Judge Joe Brown was up 16% year-to-year and 6% from the previous week to a 3.6. Warner Bros.' Judge Greg Mathis, up 35% from last year, gained 5% week-to-week to a 2.3. Sony's Judge Hatchett, up 33% from the same week a year ago, gained 5% to a 2.0. Paramount's Judge Judy, which at 4.8 remained the genre's supreme court show, was up 2% from last year after a flat week.
Among the rookies, Warner Bros.' The Ellen DeGeneres Show climbed 6% to a 1.9. Moving into a tie for second place, Twentieth's On Air with Ryan Seacrest was up 10% to a 1.1, boosted by Janet Jackson's appearance on April 2. King World's Living It Up! With Ali & Jack gained 10% to a 1.1. Also at 1.1 and unchanged for the week was Warner Bros.' The Sharon Osbourne Show, which is not expected back next season.
Buena Vista's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire had the biggest weekly increase among the game shows, up 12% to 3.8 and improving 19% year-to-year. King World's Wheel of Fortune led the category as usual at 9.1, up 5% week-to-week, but down 2% from last year. King World's Jeopardy was up 4% to a 7.6 and also up 4% from last year.
In late night, Universal's Blind Date, which has been adding more East Coast dates to its episodes, opened up a big lead among the relationship shows. The show surged 15% to a 1.5, while, in second place, Warner Bros.' Elimidate sank to a new season low 1.2, down 14% for the week.
Elsewhere in first-run, Paramount's Entertainment Tonight remained the number-one magazine, rising 6% to 5.2. King World's Inside Edition at a 3.5, NBC Enterprises' Access Hollywood at a 3.0 and Warner Bros.' Extra! at a 2.7, all were unchanged.
Also of note, King World's Martha Stewart Living re-premiered as the lowest-rated talk show this week, with a 0.7 in 62% of the country, down from the 92% coverage it had a year ago. By comparison, King World's Oprah, the highest-rated talk show at a 6.1, is cleared on 253 stations covering 99% of the U.S.