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Syndie shows on rebound after NCAA tourney slump

'X-Files,' 'V.I.P.,' 'Baywatch' show double digit increases

Several weekly syndicated shows, most of which air on the weekend, earned ratings rebounds in the week following the NCAA men’s basketball tournament broadcast on CBS.

The week’s top weekly, “The X-Files,” for example, earned its best national household rating in seven weeks for the week ended April 9. The show was up 15% from the previous week to 4.5, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Other shows that saw double-digit increases over March Madness week were “V.I.P.,” which was up 26% to 2.9; “Baywatch Hawaii,” up 22% to 2.8; “Earth: Final Conflict,” up 25% to 2.5; and “NYPD Blue,” which moved up 20% to equal its season high of 2.4.

The biggest gain among the new weeklies went to “Total Recall 2070,” which moved up 42% to 1.7, tying fellow newcomer “Your Big Break,” which moved up 21%. “Back 2 Back Action” was the top new weekly at 2.5.

Moving in the other direction this week were strips in access time periods, which dimmed slightly as Daylight Savings Time came into effect on April 2, the day before this ratings period began. Traditionally, once the clocks are set forward for DST, the number of TV viewers overall decreases during access and early fringe time periods as viewers’ attention is diverted from TV screens to the still-shining sun.

Ratings for five of the top six off-net comedies, which run largely during access, were lower than the previous week, including the genre’s topper for the week, “Friends.” Down 3% to 5.6, “Friends” was followed by “Seinfeld,” down 10% to 5.2, and “Frasier,” down 2% to 5.0.

The top three magazines and gameshows, which also tend to run in access, were likewise down except for “Extra,” which was even with the previous week at 3.3. “Entertainment Tonight” was down 6% to 6.1, followed by “Extra,” as well as “Inside Edition,” which was down 10% to 2.8.

“Wheel of Fortune” was down 6% to 10.3, followed by “Jeopardy,” down 5% to 8.7, and “Hollywood Squares,” down 7% to 4.2.

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