The first week of the new year, the session ending Jan. 8, was a tale of two dayparts. In daytime, some shows ran into sports preemptions on the Monday holiday and news preemptions for the Ft. Lauderdale airport shooting Friday. In access, it was a generally great week with many magazines, quiz shows, and off-net sitcoms hitting new season highs.
On the magazine rack, coverage of the memorial services and funerals for Debbie Reynolds and daughter Carrie Fisher, along with previews of the Golden Globe awards and news of singer Janet Jackson giving birth to her first child at age 50, lit up the category.
CBS Television Distribution’s Entertainment Tonight jumped 9% to a new season high 3.7 live plus same day national rating, according to Nielsen, and set the group’s pace for the 23rd week in a row.
CTD’s Inside Edition recovered 14% and landed at a new season high 3.2. Warner Bros.’ TMZ also rebounded from a decline in the prior frame spiking 20% to a new season high 1.8.
NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood added 7% to a 1.5. CTD’s The Insider matched its season high, surging 18% to a 1.3, tying Warner Bros.’ Extra. The Extra strip held steady at a 1.3 despite not airing in several markets due to holiday sports preemptions for hockey, football and college basketball.
Twentieth’s Dish Nation bounced back 14% up to a 0.8. While Trifecta’s Celebrity Page declined 25% from a 0.4 to a 0.3.
Elsewhere, game shows woke up after a sleepy holiday session.
Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud inched up 3% to a new series high 7.6 maintaining its stranglehold on the genre for a 37th straight week.
CTD’s Wheel of Fortune accelerated 15% to a new season high 7.1 after a dip in the previous frame.
CTD’s Jeopardy! perked up 12% to a new season best 6.7. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire earned a 6% Nielsen dividend and landed at a new season high 1.8. While Debmar-Merucry’s already cancelled Celebrity Name Game edged up 8% and returned to a 1.4.
Disney-ABC’s viral video show RightThisMInute, which was just renewed along with Millionaire for next season by select ABC owned stations, slumped 6% to a 1.5.
In off-net syndication, sitcoms went right through the roof.
Warner Bros.’ Big Bang Theory rocketed 80% from a season low to a new season high 7.2. Twentieth’s Family Guy mushroomed 267% to a new season high 3.3 and settled into second place among the laughers for the first time this season.
Twentieth’s Modern Family forged ahead 7% to a new season high 3.1.
Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved up 4% to a 2.6. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls ricocheted 77% off its low to a new season best 2.3.
Twentieth’s Mike & Molly managed a 5% increase to a new season high 2.1.
Twentieth’s rookie Last Man Standing was flat at a 1.9. Warner Bros.’ The Middle spurted 67% to a new season high 1.5. While Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother was greeted with a 13% decline to a 1.4.
Back in first run among talk shows, CTD’s Dr. Phil shot up 14% to a 3.2 and finished first in the household ratings for the 18th week in a row. Among women 25-54, Phil was also first with a 17% advance to a 1.4 in the key demo.
Disney-ABC’s Live With Kelly dipped 4% from its season high in the previous session to a 2.5 and landed in a dead heat for second place with Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen, which did not include the low-rated Monday and Friday episodes in its average, climbed 25% to a 2.5 after going from reruns to original shows.
NBCU’s Maury was flat at a 1.7. CTD’s Rachael Ray registered a 7% uptick to a 1.6.
NBCU’s Steve Harvey fell from fifth to sixth place in talk, slipping 6% to a 1.5 and tumbling 21% from last year at this time, even though the show did not count the Monday holiday in its weekly average. Harvey, whose program relaunches next season, issued an apology on Tuesday for poking fun at Asian men on his Jan. 6 show.
Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams grew 25% to a 1.5, tying Harvey after Wendy went from all repeats to four original episodes and one rerun.
NBCU’s Steve Wilkos and NBCU’s Jerry Springer were unchanged at a 1.4. Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz showed some life with an 8% uptick to a 1.3 after five weeks at a 1.2.
NBCU’s newcomer Harry, which was preempted by NBC stations for the Rose Parade and hockey on Monday and interrupted or bumped in many markets, including New York and Chicago, for Ft. Lauderdale news coverage on Friday, gave back 9% to a 1.0. Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily With Chris Hansen was also heavily preempted and eased 9% from its season high in the previous session to a 1.0, remaining tied with Harry.
CTD’s The Doctors, another show negatively impacted by both holiday programming and news coverage, relinquished 11% to a 0.8, tying Warner Bros.’ The Real, which stayed at a 0.8.
In courtroom action, CTD’s Judge Judy was the only show in the top four moving up for the week, strengthening 9% to a 7.4, its second highest rating of the season. In addition, Judy led the next highest court show by 5 rating points. By far the biggest margin for any category leader in syndication.
CTD’s Hot Bench, the No. 2 gaveller, backed off 4% from its season high to a 2.4. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis stood pat at 1.8 and 1.4, respectively. Twentieth’s Divorce Court added 9% to a new season high 1.2 after six straight sessions at a 1.1, and Trifecta’s Judge Faith finished 13% higher at a 0.9.