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Syndication Ratings: As Spring Approaches, Syndies Lag

As expected, most of syndication suffered significant
declines in the week ending March 21, the first week following the change to
daylight savings time.  In addition to
the usual ratings drop-off that comes with more daylight and tumbling PUT
levels, many shows on CBS affiliates had to contend with preemptions caused by
the first three days of March Madness March 18-20.

CBS Television Distribution's (CTD) Oprah had the worst week-to-week performance, sinking to a new
season-low 3.5 after a 26% slide from the week before and a 29% year-to-year
plunge.  Disney/ABC's Live With Regis and Kelly slipped 7% to
2.5.  CTD's Dr. Phil went with almost all reruns and was hit with numerous
preemptions.  It dropped 18% to 2.3.  Warner Bros.' Ellen Degeneres was down 4% to 2.3. 
NBCU's Maury lost 5% to
1.9.  CTD's The Doctors dipped 6% to 1.7. 
CTD's Rachael Ray cooled off
12% to 1.5 after serving up a full week of repeat episodes.  NBCU's Jerry
gained 8% to 1.3.  NBCU's Steve Wilkos was flat at 1.2.  Warner Bros.' Bonnie Hunt skidded 13% to 0.7. 
NBCU's Martha Stewart trailed
the field after sinking 17% to 0.5.

CTD's Judge Judy
was off 11% to 4.1.  CTD's Judge Joe Brown held steady at 2.2.  Warner Bros.' People's Court eased 5% to 2.0. 
Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis was
flat at 1.6.  Twentieth's Judge Alex was unchanged at 1.4.  Twentieth's Divorce Court
deteriorated 7% to 1.3.  Warner Bros.' Judge Jeanine Pirro was up 10% to

Among rookies, off-net leader NBCU's The Office held firm at 3.1, ranking as the no. 8 show overall in
syndication and the no. 1 show among W18-34, with a 2.9 in the demo.  In first-run, Sony's Dr. Oz coughed up 15% of its rating, dropping to 2.3.  Twentieth's Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader was back 6% to 1.5.  Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams was flat at 1.2. 
Litton's Street Court sank 17%
to 0.5. 

Games had a tough week. 
CTD's Wheel of Fortune
decelerated 14% to 6.3.  CTD's Jeopardy was down 16% to 5.3.  Disney/ABC's Who Wants To Be a Millionaire eroded 12% to 2.2.  Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud was flat at 1.3. 
NBCU's Deal Or No Deal settled
for a 9% loss to 1.0.

Elsewhere in access, magazines were also all down or
flat.  Topper, CTD's Entertainment Tonight was off 11% to 4.1, after being broken out of
the averages by Nielsen Thursday and Friday due to the NCAA basketball
tournament.  CTD's Inside Edition faded 13% to 2.8. 
Warner Bros.' TMZ was unchanged
at 2.1.  NBCU's Access Hollywood retreated 5% to 2.0.  Warner Bros.' Extra was down 5% to 1.8. 
CTD's The Insider fell 11% to

Warner Bros.' Two and
a Half Men
headed the off-net sitcom list, though it was down 13% to
4.6.  Twentieth's Family Guy slid 6% to 3.3. 
Sony's Seinfeld slipped 3% to
2.8.  Warner Bros.' George Lopez bucked the downtrend, gaining 13% to 2.7, tying CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond, which remained
at 2.7.  Twentieth's King of the Hill lost 4% to 2.4. 
Warner Bros.' Friends stayed
steady at 2.1.  House of Payne was hurt by a 6% decline to 1.7.