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Syndication Ratings: Shows Bounce Back as March Madness Comes to Close

Syndies rebounded in the week ending April 7 as the NCAA’s annual college basketball tournament, March Madness, drew to a close with the finals between ultimate victor University of Virginia against Texas Tech on Monday, April 8.

CBS Television Distribution’s magazine leaders Entertainment Tonight and Inside Edition, which are both heavily cleared on large-market CBS stations, both bounced back with ET leaping 12% to a 2.9 live plus same day national Nielsen rating to tie Inside Edition, which gained 7%.

Inside Edition anchor Deborah Norville announced on the air April 1 that she would be taking time off to have part of her thyroid removed. She returned on April 15.

Related: Deborah Norville Returns to 'Inside Edition' After Thyroid Surgery

The rest of the magazines were all steady to higher. NBCUniversal’s Access held its ground at a 1.3, tying Warner Bros.’ TMZ, which also was flat. Warner Bros.’ Extra improved 10% to a 1.1. CTD’s DailyMailTV, which was just renewed for season three, delivered a stable 1.0. Twentieth’s recently canceled Page Six TV, which is remaining in production through this summer, stayed at a 0.6, while Trifecta’s Celebrity Page seesawed 50% to a 0.3 from a 0.2.

The top-three games continued to fight for first. CTD’s Jeopardy! jumped 9% to a 6.1 tying CTD’s Wheel of Fortune, which rolled ahead 11% to take over the category lead. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud, which had reclaimed the game lead for the prior two weeks, fell back 2% to a 6.0.

Related: James Holzhauer Becomes Second-Highest Cash Winner in Jeopardy! History

Further back, Disney’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire broke even at a 1.6. Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask was flat at a 0.5.

Disney’s viral video show RightThisMinute moved up 8% to a 1.3.

In daytime, CTD’s Judge Judy, one of only three first-run strips to improve in the prior week, added 1% to a three-week high 6.8 despite being in repeats on four of the five days. Judy remained in the syndication household lead for the 39th week in a row with four ties.

All the other courts held steady with the prior week. CTD’s Hot Bench, Warner Bros.’ People’sCourt and Judge Mathis and Twentieth’s Divorce Court all remained at a 2.3, 1.4, 1.0 and a 0.7, respectively.

In talk, CTD’s Dr. Phil remained in the lead for the 135th straight week with five ties holding steady at a 2.7, despite being in repeats for two days. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil also led with a 1.1.

Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan rallied 10% to a 2.3 and was solidly in second place for the sixth straight week.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres returned to originals after a week of repeats and recovered 12% to a 1.9.

NBCU’s Maury maintained a 1.4 for the sixth consecutive week. Rounding out the top five, NBCU’s Steve gave back 8% to a 1.2.

CTD’s Rachael Ray rose 10% to a 1.1, tying NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, which held steady, and Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which weakened 27% to a 1.1 with encore episodes. On April 11, Williams filed for divorce from her husband of more than 20 years, Kevin Hunter. Hunter is also her business partner, manager and one of her show’s executive producers.

Warner Bros.’ The Real retreated 14% to a 0.6, tying CTD’s The Doctors, which ricocheted off a series low in the prior week and got a 20% shot in the arm to a 0.6. The Doctors has been renewed for season 12.

Disney’s Pickler & Ben banged out a 0.4 for the 11th straight week, tying the syndicated version of NBCU’s out-of-production Jerry Springer, which was a consistent 0.4 for the 30th straight week.

CTD’s newbie Face the Truth, which will end after this season, was flat at a 0.8 for a fifth week. Meanwhile, Debmar-Mercury’s renewed rookie Caught in Providence sank 17% to a 0.5.

Related: It's One and Done for 'Face the Truth'

Turning to true crime, NBCU’s off-network Dateline was steady at a 1.3. SPT’s off-A&E Live PD Police Patrol elevated 11% to a 1.0. Off-Investigation Discovery’s True Crime Files exposed an unchanged 0.3.

NBCU’s off-net scripted procedural Chicago PD held steady at a 1.0.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory fell 4% to lead the off-network sitcoms at a 4.4. Twentieth’s Last Man Standing also slipped 4% to a 2.2. Twentieth’s Modern Family faded 5% to a 1.8. SPT’s TheGoldbergs and Warmer Bros.’ Two and a Half Men remained tied at a 1.5 and 1.4, respectively. Twentieth’s Family Guy skidded 7% to al 1.3. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly was flat at a 1.1. Disney’s Black-ish backed off 9% to a 1.0, tying Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls, which garnered a 1.0 for the 11th consecutive week and SPT’s Seinfeld, which held steady for the fifth week in a row.

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.