Syndication Ratings: May Sweep Picks Up Steam

'Judge Judy' out in front, while 'Dr. Phil' extends talk lead

Syndies finally saw some ratings gains as May sweeps kicked into gear in the week ended May 13.

CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil widened its lead over the field, finishing the week at a 3.2 live plus same day household rating, a 10% improvement from the prior week, and the show's best ratings in ten weeks.

Sony's Dr. Oz dropped 4% to finish in second place at a 2.6. Warner Bros.' Ellen added 4% to a 2.4 and third place. NBCUniversal's Maury dipped 4% to a 2.3 to tie Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly. CTD's Rachael Ray remained steady at a 1.5, tying CTD's The Doctors, which fell 6%. NBCU's Jerry Springer rebounded 15% from its prior-week season low. NBCU's Steve Wilkos added 8% to a 1.3. Debmar Mercury's Wendy Williams and Sony's Nate Berkus each were steady at a 1.1 and 1.0, respectively.

Warner Bros.' Anderson continued to lead the rookie first-run field, gaining 8% from the previous session to a 1.4. Debmar-Mercury's Jeremy Kyle softened 17% to a 0.5. Entertainment Studios' We the People was flat at a 0.4. CTD's late-night dating show, Excused, remained flat at a 0.6.

CTD's Judge Judy led both the court genre and all of syndication at a 7.1, up 4% from the prior week. Judy was the only syndie that managed to top a 7.0 rating.

The rest of court was mostly static, with CTD's Judge Joe Brown, Warner Bros.' People's Court, Twentieth's Judge Alex and Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis all unchanged at a 2.5, 1.9, 1.4, and 1.4, respectively. Twentieth's Divorce Court declined 7% to a 1.3. CTD's already cancelled Swift Justice was flat at a 1.1. Entertainment Studios' America's Court was even with the previous week at a 0.9.

Among the magazines, NBCU's Access Hollywood claimed the title of week's most improved show, jumping 12% to a 1.9. Magazine leader, CTD's Entertainment Tonight, was steady at a 3.6. CTD's Inside Edition was flat at a 3.0. Warner Bros.' TMZ fell 5% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.' Extra gained 7% to a 1.6, tying CTD's The Insider, which was steady.

NBCU's Access Hollywood Live remained at a 0.9 rating/3 share in its 17 metered markets, although the show saw year-to-year improvements in Los Angeles and Chicago.

All of the game shows were up. CTD's Wheel of Fortune upticked 2% to a 6.5, finishing third in the overall syndie race behind Judy and Warner Bros.' Big Bang Theory. CTD's Jeopardy! picked up 4% to a 5.7. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud added 7% to a 3.1. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire strengthened 4% to a 2.6.

Big Bang Theory was second place in the overall syndication rankings, dipping 1% from the prior week to a 6.7. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men added 2% to a 5.6. Twentieth's Family Guy eroded 8% to a 3.7. Twentieth's How I Met your Mother slumped 7% to a new season-low 2.5, tying Twentieth's King of the Hill, which improved 4% to a new season high, and Sony's Seinfeld, which also was 4% higher at a 2.5. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond was flat at a 2.2, while Warner Bros.' Friends faded 10% to a new season-low 1.8.