Daylight saving time tempers syndicated spurt
Review based on a national syndicated rating report for the week ending March 17.
The high-flying armada of syndicated shows ran into some turbulence in the session ending March 17, which was the first week of daylight saving time. Traditionally the added hour of daylight sinks PUT levels and this year was no exception. Making things worse were widespread preemptions for news coverage of President Trump’s veto of the attempt to reverse his national emergency declaration for a border wall.
Game shows were hard hit. Leader Jeopardy (6.3 live plus same day national Nielsen rating, down 9% from the week before), whose host Alex Trebek announced that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer on March 6, held on to first place in the genre. Wheel of Fortune (6.2, down 6%) also declined, while Family Feud (5.9, down 9%) remained third.
Judge Judy (6.9, down 8%) continued to throttle all shows in the household ratings for the 36th straight week. Additionally the strip rose 6% from last year even though the program was in repeats for part of the frame. “Judy” was also nominated for a Daytime Emmy in the ‘Outstanding Courtroom Program’ category.
Among talk shows Dr. Phil (2.8, down 10%) was mostly in reruns but still topped the chat-pack for the 132nd week in a row.
The only other talker above a two rating was Live with Kelly and Ryan (2.3, down 4%), which snared second place honors for a third consecutive week.
Rounding out the top six in talk were Ellen DeGeneres (1.9, up 6%), Maury (1.4, unchanged), Wendy Williams (1.4, down 7% in the host’s second week back after a two-month absence) and Steve (1.2, down 8%), which was in repeats for part of the week. Of note Steve Harvey was just nominated for the “Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host” Emmy Award.
Turning to true crime Dateline (1.4, up 8%) was the runaway leader of the group for the 27th straight week.