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Syndication Ratings: Shows Face Double Whammy of Daylight Saving, March Madness

Longer days and the start of March Madness put pressure on syndies in the week ended March 19, although a late-season storm in New England propped up levels of homes using television and helped keep ratings steady across the board.

Shows that air in access and early-fringe on CBS affiliates were hit the hardest with the start of the NCAA basketball tournament on March 16.

Still, CBS Television Distribution’s Entertainment Tonight managed to add 6% to a 3.4 live plus same day household ratings average, according to Nielsen Media Research. In second place, CTD’s Inside Edition sank 10% to tie its season low at a 2.6. Warner Bros.’ TMZ and NBCU’s Access Hollywood held steady at a 1.6 and 1.4, respectively. Warner Bros.’ Extra improved the most among the magazines, strengthening 20% to a 1.2.

CTD’s The Insider, which will wrap after this season, held firm at a 1.1. Twentieth’s Dish Nation and Trifecta’s Celebrity Page logged their usual 0.8 and 0.3, respectively for the 11th straight week.

Elsewhere in access, Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud edged ahead 3% to a 6.9 to lead the games for the 47th week in a row. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune found the road bumpy, sliding 11% to a 5.8 to tie CTD’s Jeopardy!, which faded 9%. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire got a 6% bonus to a 1.8. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game, which will fold at the end of this season, stayed at a 1.3.

Disney-ABC’s viral video show RightThisMinute motored ahead 7% to a 1.5.

In daytime, CTD’s Dr. Phil was in repeats for most of the week and was hit with lots of basketball preemptions, resulting in a 14% giveback to a 3.0. That was still good enough to lead the talkers for the 28th consecutive week and lead the demo race among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54 at a 1.4.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly took second place, outperforming Warner Bros.’ Ellen for the fifth week in a row. Live improved 5% to a 2.3, while Ellen recovered 16% to a 2.2.

NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey, which had dropped to a new season low in the prior frame, rebounded 21% to a 1.7. NBCU’s Maury and Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams both advanced 7% to a 1.6 and 1.5, respectively. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos and Jerry Springer both were flat at a 1.3, tying CTD’s Rachel Ray and Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, each of which recovered 8% after grazing their season lows in the prior week.

Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen captured talk’s biggest weekly increase, gaining 22% to a 1.1 and matching its season high.

NBCU’s Harry, which has been officially renewed for season two by the Fox Television Stations, rose 10% in households to a 1.1 and 20% among women 25-54 to a 0.6.

CTD’s The Doctors held steady at a 0.9, tying Warner Bros.’ The Real, which was flat.

CTD’s Judge Judy backtracked 9% for the week to a 6.3 with repeat episodes but still led the courts by a large margin. CTD’s Hot Bench also was in repeats, but rose 5% to a 2.3. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court ricocheted 13% from the season low scored in the prior week to a 1.7. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis, Twentieth’s Divorce Court and Trifecta’s Judge Faith all were flat at 1.3, 1.1 and 0.8, respectively.

Off-net sitcoms were mostly steady to higher. Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory, just renewed for two more seasons on CBS, was unchanged at a 5.1. Twentieth’s Modern Family fell 3% to a 3.8. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved up 4% to a 2.6. Twentieth’s Family Guy and its freshman Last Man Standing both stood pat at a 1.8, tying Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly, which improved 6%. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls grew 6% to a 1.7. SPT’s Seinfeld stayed at a 1.3, tying Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother, which added 8%. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show and King of the Hill were flat at a 1.1.