Syndies torched by NBC Olympics

'ElimiDate' only frosh strip to rise in ratings

Few syndicated shows could shake the Olympics stranglehold on auds over the week ended Feb. 17.

Viewers were lured away from strips in the 7-8 p.m. daypart toward Olympics coverage on NBC. Daytime audiences also fled to the Olympics on MSNBC, which tripled its 9 a.m.-3 p.m. ratings vs. the prior week, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Even genre leaders got bruised: “Entertainment Tonight” slipped 11% to a 5.7 household rating; “Oprah” fell 10% to a 5.6; and court queen “Judge Judy” slumped 13% to a 5.6.

While the hit’s understandable given the stiff competition, this is a critical time for a lot of rookie strips on the bubble for a second season.

On the rise

Only Warner Bros.’ “ElimiDate” (1.7, up 6%) rose among the freshmen. For the first time, the rookie dating strip, which is up 70% from its debut, tied its veteran rival “Blind Date” (1.7, down 11%).

Looking at Nielsen’s weighted metered market averages for all of February (finalized Wednesday), “ElimiDate” scored a 1.6 rating/4 share — up 14% from how it was faring in mostly latenight time periods last year.

The few other rookies who topped their year-ago averages were “Texas Justice” (2.1/5, up 11%) and “The Other Half” (1.7/6, up 13%).

Rookies not looking as healthy in February include “Weakest Link” (2.1/5, down 22%), “Crossing Over With John Edward” (1.5/4, down 6%), “The Ananda Lewis Show” (1.4/5, down 26%), “Shipmates” (1.2/4, flat) and “The Fifth Wheel” (1.1/4, down 15%).

Those officially on the hunt for renewals include “Ananda” and “The Other Half.”

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