Martha’s ‘Living’ down in ratings

Show dropped 21% during May sweeps

With her eponymous syndie strip sliding in the ratings, Martha Stewart’s troubles are not limited to the boardroom or the courtroom.

“Martha Stewart Living” dropped 21% during the May sweeps period, which ended May 21. Show posted average rating of 1.1, sandwiched between “Crossing Over With John Edward” and “Sabrina the Teenage Witch.”

Gameshow veterans “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy” held on to the top spots.

“Wheel” finished the month with an 8.8 rating, unchanged from the same period last year. “Jeopardy” registered at 7.0, a drop of 9%. Overall, syndie strips saw year-to-year slippage as they faced strong daytime competish from cable news channels.

“Oprah Winfrey” was the top-rated yakker with a 6.2, comfortably ahead of her rookie protege “Dr. Phil.” Latter finished with a 4.9, an 11% slip from his average during sweeps last February.

Struggling “Caroline Rhea Show” ended the month with a 0.9, down 10% from last May.

Magazine shows held mostly steady. “Entertainment Tonight” finished first for the 14th consecutive sweeps period with a 5.4, 74% stronger than “Inside Edition,” which rated a 3.1.

“Judge Judy” finished tops among court shows with a 5.0, but that rating repped a 12% decrease from last year.

Among the off-net sitcoms, Must-See TV alums “Friends” and “Seinfeld” found themselves in a dead heat with a 6.6. “Friends” was down 4%, while “Seinfeld” saw a 10% bump thanks to its new added run on TBS.

Newcomers “Will and Grace” and “That ’70s Show” both saw single digit declines from February sweep numbers. “Will and Grace” brought in a 3.9 (down 9%) while ” ’70s Show” posted a 3.7 (down 5%).

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