Syndie Suffers Post-May Depression


Ratings for syndicated shows dropped as expected with the May sweeps over and shows going into repeat mode.

For the week ending June 6, ratings were driven even lower by the Memorial Day holiday on Monday, a presidential press conference on Tuesday and NBC's coverage of the French Open on Friday. Overall, average viewing declined by 745,000 households from the prior week.

NBC Universal's Blind Date was one of only a handful of shows to buck the downtrend. It hit its highest ratings in 14 weeks, up 7% to a 1.6. It led the rapidly shrinking dating show genre for the tenth week in a row.

While there were six relationship strips on the air at the end of last season, only two shows will be back in the fall: Blind Date and Warner Bros.' elimiDate, with neither Twentieth's Ex-Treme Dating nor NBC Universal's 5th Wheel wooing enough viewers to avoid the hook. ElimiDATE was down 8% itself to a 1.2 this week; that's down 29% from last year at this time. Year-to-year, Blind Date is off 6%.

Although none of the magazine shows were up from the prior week, for the first time this season Warner Bros.' Extra! tied Access Hollywood for third place. Extra! was down 4% to a 2.4, while Access Hollywood slipped 11% to a new season low of 2.4. Paramount's Entertainment Tonight was number one with a 4.5, down 4%. King World's Inside Edition was second with a 3.2, down 3%.

Among the top five game shows, both King World's Wheel of Fortune and King World's Jeopardy! hit new season lows. Wheel skidded 7% to a 7.5 and Jeopardy! slid 10% to a 6.1. Buena Vista's Who Wants To Be A Millionaire was down 6% to a 3.4. Tribune's Family Feud was up 5% to a 2.1. King World's Hollywood Squares, which is not renewed for next season, dropped 15% to a new season-low of 1.7.

Meanwhile, only Sony's Seinfeld among the top five off-net sitcoms managed to improve, up 2% to a 5.8. Warner Bros.' Friends was down 4% to a 5.1. King World's Everybody Loves Raymond fell 4% to a 5.0. Both Carsey-Werner-Mandabach's That 70s Show and Warner Bros.' Will & Grace dropped 9% to a 3.2.

In daytime, none of the top five court or talk shows were up, although further down the list, NBC Universal's The Jerry Springer Show wsa up 5% to a 2.3 and Sony's canceled Ricki Lake rose 9% to a 1.2.