Syndication Ratings: Talkers Up as February Sweep Winds Down
'Dr. Phil,' 'Steve Wilkos,' 'Steve Harvey' all hit highs
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/5/2013 1:42:30 PM
Talk shows were the week's star performers with three hitting new season highs: CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil, and NBCUniversal's Steve Wilkos and newcomer Steve Harvey.
Dr. Phil scored its best rating in more than a year, a 3.5 live plus same day household average, according to Nielsen Media Research, up 9% for the week and the year. Phil also was tops among women 25-54, improving 11% to a 2.0 in daytime's key demographic.
The race for second place continues to be tight between Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly and Michael and Warner Bros.' Ellen DeGeneres. Both shows climbed 8% from the prior week, tying at a 2.8. Year to year, Live! is flat in households, while Ellen is up 12%.
In fourth place, Sony Pictures Television's Dr. Oz added 4% for the week to a 2.6, but is still down 13% from last year at this time.
NBCUniversal's Maury grew 9% to a 2.5 and fifth place among households, but continued to lead the talk field among women 18-49 and women 18-34 with a 1.7 and 1.5, respectively.
Wilkos, which is emerging as a rising star in its sixth season, posted its best week ever, jumping 6% for the week and 21% for the year, to a new all-time high 1.7. That marks the largest year-to-year increase of any talk show.
Meanwhile, CTD's Rachael Ray cooked up weekly and yearly gains of 6% to tie Wilkos.
NBCU's Jerry Springer was flat at a 1.5 for the seventh straight week. CTD's The Doctors climbed 8% to a 1.4. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams held steady at a 1.3. Warner Bros.' Anderson Live, which will end its run after this season, advanced 10% to a 1.1, while Debmar-Mercury's Jeremy Kyle, which also will leave the air after this season, came in last, and was the only talk show to decline, sliding 17% to a 0.5.
Among the talk rookies, Steve Harvey had its best week yet, rallying 6% to a new series high 1.7 and further closing the household gap with this season's rookie leader, Disney-ABC's Katie, which also added 6% to a 1.9. Among women 25-54, however, Harvey continued to prevail, moving up 10% to a 1.1, to top the freshman talkers in the key demo for the second week in a row.
CTD's canceled Jeff Probst strengthened 14% to a 0.8, tying Twentieth's also-canceled Ricki Lake, which was flat. NBCU's Trisha, which will return next season, was steady at its series-high 0.6.
Among the court shows, CTD's Judge Judy clocked a new season-high 7.6, up 3% both for the week and the year to lead all shows in daytime. In second place, CTD's Judge Joe Brown improved 4% to a 2.5. Warner Bros.' People's Court and Judge Mathis each were flat at a 1.9 and 1.6, respectively. Twentieth's Judge Alex added 8% to a 1.4, but the show is down 26% for the year, more than any other court show that scores at least a 1.0 household rating. Twentieth's Divorce Court, and Entertainment Studios' America's Court, Justice for All and We the People all were flat at a 1.3, 0.8, 0.4 and 0.2, respectively.
Magazines all were steady or higher. CTD's leader, Entertainment Tonight, climbed 5% from the prior week to a 4.0. CTD's Inside Edition and Warner Bros.' TMZ remained at a 3.2 and 2.0, respectively. NBCU's Access Hollywood improved 6% to a 1.9, equaling its season high. Warner Bros.' Extra spiked 7%, the category's biggest improvement, hitting a 1.6, its second-highest rating of the season. CTD's new omg! Insider was stable at a 1.4, while Twentieth's rookie, Dish Nation, remained at a 1.0.
Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire scored game's biggest gain, adding 13% for the week to a new season-high 2.7. CTD's leader, Wheel of Fortune, picked up 5% from the prior session to a 7.7, scoring second place on syndication's overall leaderboard. CTD's Jeopardy! rose 5% to a 6.9. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud finished 4% higher at a 5.4, while NBCU's rookie, Baggage, lost 8% to a 1.1.
Finally, Warner Bros.' The Big Bang Theory inched up 1% from the previous frame to a 7.8, topping syndication's household chart. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men moved ahead 6% to a 5.4. Twentieth's Family Guy gained 3% to a 3.7. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother was flat at a 2.8. SPT's Seinfeld gained 4% to a 2.4. Twentieth's King of the Hill declined 4% to a 2.2, tying Warner Bros.' Friends, which improved 5% to a 2.2. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond remained at a 1.9.
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