Dr. Phil's premiere week interviews with George and Cindy Anthony, parents of the acquitted Casey Anthony, won the show its best opening day ratings in seven years and also assured Dr. Phil a first week win atop the talkers.
CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil scored a 3.6 rating/10 share primary-run weighted metered market household average last week. That's up 100% from its 1.8/6 lead-in and up 64% from its 2.2/6 last September. Dr. Phil's best market performance came in Dayton, Ohio, at 10 a.m., where it averaged an 8.7/25 average for the week.
Finishing behind Dr. Phil for the week were Disney-ABC's Live! With Regis and Kelly, launching Regis' last season, at a 2.7/10; Sony's Dr. Oz at a 2.6/7, and Warner Bros.' Ellen at a 2.4/7.
Warner Bros.' Anderson, after one week on the air, improved 36% to a 1.5/4 all-telecast weighted metered market average on Monday, Sept. 19, compared to its 1.1/3 all-telecast first week average. That's up 25% from its lead in and 23% from its year-ago time period average.
Among its primary runs, Anderson rated even higher, scoring a 1.8/5 average on Monday with an episode featuring host Anderson Cooper's well-known mother, heiress and designer Gloria Vanderbilt. On Fox's KTTV Los Angeles at 4 p.m., Anderson's premiere week was up 167% over the same time period last year. Anderson's best market was San Diego, where it earned a first-place 3.6/9.
Among the other syndicated rookies that premiered last week, RightThisMinute, which is being produced by and airs on local station groups such as Raycom, Cox and Scripps, opened at a 0.8/3 weighted metered market average for the week. RightThisMinute's best showing came in Birmingham, Ala., where it averaged a 3.9/9.
Entertainment Studios' We the People With Gloria Allred averaged a 0.5/2 for the week, including its highest rating, a 1.4/4 in Raleigh-Durham, N.C.
CTD's Excused, a new dating show airing mostly in little-watched late-night time periods, earned a 0.4/1. Birmingham also was Excused's best market, where the show won its 2 a.m. time slot with a 1.2/4, tying Memphi,s where the show airs at 3 a.m.
On Monday, Sept. 19, two more first-run talkers premiered. Tribune's Bill Cunningham debuted with a 0.9/3, down 25% from its lead-in and 18% from its year-ago time period average. On WPIX New York, Bill Cunningham turned in a 1.1/4, in the range of where Tribune hoped it would open, and on WGN Chicago it earned a 1.6/5.
Debmar-Mercury's Jeremy Kyle, a conflict talker hosted by the popular British host, premiered at a 0.6/2, down 25% from both lead-in and year-ago time period averages.
Three new off-net sitcoms also opened on Monday: Warner Bros.' Big Bang Theory averaged a 1.8/3 in mostly prime access slots. That's a disappointing start for the show, but off-net sitcoms tend to grow slowly and hit their stride after the days grow shorter. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men opened at a 2.0/4 in the metered when it premiered in September 2007 and by February 2008 it had grown into a bonafide hit at a 5.4 national household average.
NBCUniversal's 30 Rock premiered at a 0.8/2 in mostly late-fringe time periods while Sony's ‘Til Death averaged a 0.2/1 in various time slots.
Also on Monday, CTD's Entertainment Tonight rated top marks for its post-Emmy award coverage. ET averaged a 4.3/8 in the metered markets, up 16% from last year at this time. CTD's Inside Edition, which isn't as focused on Hollywood as the other magazines, turned in a 3.2/7. NBCU's Access Hollywood earned a 2.7/5. CTD's The Insider followed at 2.1/5. Warner Bros.' Extra tied Insider's ratings with a 2.1/4, and Warner Bros.' TMZ, which doesn't really cover the Emmys, brought up the rear at a 1.8/4.
National ratings for the week ending Sept. 11 -- which began with Labor Day and ended with coverage of the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and was the last week of repeats for most syndicated shows -- were up a bit as the levels of people using increased as summer came to an end.
Disney-ABC's Live! With Regis and Kelly kicked off Regis' final season early, launching new shows with a 2.6, up 24% from the prior week of repeats. Meanwhile, most of the rest of syndication remained in reruns.
CTD's Dr. Phil jumped 14% to a 2.4, the show's highest rating in 12 weeks and a precursor to the show's big opening week that launched on Tuesday, Sept. 13. NBCU's Maury, still in repeats, tacked on 5% to a 2.3. CTD's Oprah was up 6% to a 1.9 in its final week on the air, while Sony's Dr. Oz sank 5% to a 1.8. NBCU's Jerry Springer advanced 7% to a 1.5, tying Warner Bros.' Ellen, which was unchanged. CTD's Rachael Ray held steady at a 1.3, tying NBCU's Steve Wilkos, which recovered 18% from its season low in the previous week. Sony's Nate Berkus was flat at a 0.9. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams improved 17% from its series low 0.6 to a 0.7.
CTD's Judge Judy tied CTD's Wheel of Fortune as syndication's top show at a 6.1, up 2% from the prior week. CTD's Judge Joe Brown jumped 8% to a 2.7. Warner Bros.' People's Court improved 17% to a 2.1. Twentieth's Divorce Court advanced 13% to a 1.8. Twentieth's Judge Alex and Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis both increased 6% to a 1.7. CTD's Swift Justice -- with Jackie Glass and sans Dancing with the Stars' Nancy Grace -- held steady at a 1.5. Entertainment Studios' America's Court With Judge Ross added 17% to a 0.7.
Access Hollywood was the only magazine to jump by double digits from the prior week, gaining 12% to a 1.9, the show's strongest performance since May. ET continued to lead the category, dipping 3% to a 3.2. Inside Edition inched up 4% to a 2.8. TMZ and The Insider were unchanged at a 1.7 and 1.4, respectively. Extra strengthened 8% to a 1.4.
CTD's Wheel of Fortune advance 3% to its syndication leading 6.1. CTD's Jeopardy! picked up 8% to a 5.2. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud fell 8% to a 2.4. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire dropped 4% to a 2.3.
Finally, among the off-net sitcoms,Two and a Half Men was flat at a 5.9. Twentieth's Family Guy faded 5% to a 3.9. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother shot up 21% to a 3.5. Sony's Seinfeld was unchanged at a 2.6. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond fell 8% to a 2.4, tying NBCU's The Office, which was flat. Twentieth's King of the Hill was unchanged at a 2.3, tying Warner Bros.' Friends, which improved 28% to a 2.3. Carsey-Werner's That 70s Show declined 5% to a 1.9.