Extra (new season high 1.1 live plus same day national Nielsen rating, up 22% from the week before) was red hot in the last full week of winter.
Hosted by the affable Billy Bush, the top drawer entertainment magazine featured heavy coverage of the coronavirus outbreak each day and was the only syndicated strip of any type to set a new season record in the session ending March 15.
Other A-list magazines making double-digit upward moves as viewers flocked to reliable news sources included Entertainment Tonight (3.0, up 11%), which matched its season high and led the entire category for the ninth time in the past ten weeks, and Access Hollywood (8-week high 1.5, up 15%), which tied its strongest rating of the season.
In the morning and afternoon the onset of daylight saving time, preemptions for President Trump’s National Emergency Declaration on March 13, and virus news reports throughout the week hampered the top performers.
For example, the season’s ratings leader Judge Judy (5.9, down 8%) had its primary run blocked in several large markets. Nevertheless “Judy” still crushed all court shows for a spectacular 1.225th straight week.
Turning to talk shows, Dr Phil (2.1, down 13%) was in reruns for part of the week but was number one in the genre for the seventh week in a row and the 180th time in the past 184 weeks.
Live with Kelly and Ryan (2.0, steady) resisted any decline and was a powerful number two.
Other talkers looming large included Ellen DeGeneres (1.8, down 5%) and hot newcomers Kelly Clarkson (1.3, steady), which held its ground despite preemptions, and Tamron Hall (1.0, up 11%), which raced ahead by double digits even though it lost its primary run due to breaking news coverage in several markets.