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NCAA bounces syndies

Core male aud lured away by tournament

No match for the NCAA basketball tournament, syndie shows saw their ratings fouled hard the week ending March 17.

Action and off-net hours were especially hard hit, as their core male audience was lured away by weekend hoop action.

Of the eight top weekly hours, only “The Practice” (2.6, up 13%) gained on its perf last week.

“The X-Files” dropped 7% from the last ratings period to a 2.7 Nielsen household score, followed by “Andromeda” (2.6, down 16%), “Buffy, the Vampire Slayer” (2.3, down 12%), “ER” (2.3, down 4%), “Stargate SG-1” (2.3, down 18%) and “World’s Wildest Police Videos” (2.3, down 12%).

“Entertainment Tonight Weekend,” which airs on many of the same CBS stations that carried the hoop action, was largely preempted. It slumped 23% to a 3.4.

Tipping off Thursday and Friday of that week, NCAA games also were tough competition for daytime court-and talkstrips.

Leading gavelers “Judge Judy” (5.6, down 7%) and “Judge Joe Brown” (3.3, down 8%) were off their marks. It was the same story for the rest of the court pack, except for “Divorce Court” (2.8) and “Judge Greg Mathis” (2.4), which were unchanged.

Just one yakker, “Live With Regis and Kelly” (3.6, up 9%), improved during the week. Trailing talk queen “Oprah” (5.4, down 2%) were “Maury” (3.3, flat), “Montel Williams” (2.8, down 7%), “Jerry Springer” (2.7, down 7%) and “Rosie O’Donnell” (2.2, down 8%).

Elsewhere, rookie strips were mostly lower or held steady, including “Texas Justice” (2.1, flat), “Crossing Over With John Edward” (1.9, flat), “The Weakest Link” (1.7, down 6%) and “ElimiDate” (1.6, flat).

Tribune has declared its new psychic talker “Beyond With James Van Praagh” a firm go for this fall. The series has been cleared in 75% of the U.S., representing 27 of the top 30 markets. Recently added stations include KRON San Francisco, KTVK Phoenix and KPLR St. Louis.

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