Snow melts, syndie ratings fall

Ratings for syndicated programs were mostly down in the week ending March 9,
coming after many season highs during a snowy February sweeps.

The two weekly movie-review shows saw an uptick, however, with Paramount
Television's Hot Ticket up 29 percent to a 1.8, equaling its highest
rating of the season, and Buena Vista Television's Ebert & Roeper up
16 percent to a 2.2. Hot Ticket also was up 6 percent year to year,
while Ebert & Roeper was down 4 percent.

Only two of the eight first-run rookie strips managed to improve. Warner
Bros.' Celebrity Justice, which airs primarily in late-night, was up 9
percent to 1.2. And Buena Vista's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was up 3
percent to 3.5.

King World Productions' Dr. Phil fell 9 percent to 5.3. Sony Pictures
Television's Pyramid was down 5 percent to 1.9. NBC Enterprises' The
John Walsh Show
was down 6 percent to 1.5.

Twentieth Television's new morning talker, Good Day Live, was down 10
percent to 0.9. Warner Bros.' The Caroline Rhea Show was down 20 percent
to 0.8 to hit a new season low. And Paramount's Life Moments, cancelled
in January on most of the NBC owned-and-operated stations, was down 17 percent
to 0.5.

Only two of the veteran talk shows were up while 12 were down. The winners
were Sony's Ricki Lake, up 6 percent to a 1.9, which was a new season
high for the show. Universal Domestic Television's Crossing Over with John
gained 8 percent to a 1.4.

As for the others, King World's Oprah remained on top but was down 12
percent to a 6.0. Buena Vista's Live with Regis & Kelly was down 7
percent to a 3.8. Universal's Maury was down 14 percent to a 3.2, while
its Jerry Springer was down 4 percent to 2.5. And Paramount's Montel
was down 11 percent to a 2.4.

Among the court shows, Paramount's Judge Judy was down 2 percent to a
5.4. Judy was followed by Paramount's Judge Joe Brown, which was
down 8 percent to a 3.6. Twentieth's Divorce Court was down 3 percent to
a 3.1.

In off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' Friends and Sony's Seinfeld
tied for the top spot at a 7.4. Friends was down 5%, while
was down 4%.

King World's Everybody Loves Raymond was third, up 3 percent to a 7.0,
equaling its season high. Warner Bros. rookie Will & Grace was up 2
percent to 4.4, while Carsey-Werner-Mandabach's That 70s Show, also in
its rookie season, was down 3 percent to a 3.8.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.