Syndication Gets Coal for Christmas


Christmas brought few ratings gifts for syndication.

Average viewing on Christmas Day plunged approximately 4,215,000 households from the prior week. While some shows were able to exclude Dec. 25 from their averages during the week ended Dec. 28, others were not.

Moving lower were the top three talk shows, the top two court shows, the top two games, the top nine sitcoms and all of the magazines. However, most of the rookie first-run strips resisted the downtrend.

In daytime, King World’s Dr. Phil took the biggest hit, sinking 21% to a new season low 4.1 rating. King World’s Oprah also fell to a new season low, with a more modest 3% decline to a 5.8. In third place, Buena Vista’s Live with Regis & Kelly also lost 3% to 3.9.

Paramount’s Judge Joe Brown slipped the most among the court shows, tumbling 9% to 3.2, while leader Paramount’s Judge Judy was down 6% to 4.8.

Elsewhere, Warner Bros.’ Ellen was the number-one rookie for a seventh straight week, holding steady at 1.6. King World’s Living It Up! with Ali & Jack and Warner Bros.’ Sharon Osbourne tied for second, with each show getting a 1.3.

Ali & Jack, which may have been helped by Regis & Kelly being in repeats, hit its series high and rose 18% week to week. Sharon, which again was without its host, was up 8%. Buena Vista’s Wayne Brady had its best week ever, jumping 9% to 1.2, driven by a special music show featuring American Idol winner Ruben Studdard on Christmas Eve.