Talk shows settled down in the first week after the November sweep, while access games and sitcoms continue to build as the days get darker and shorter.
CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil reemerged as this season's highest-rated talk show for the ninth time in 12 weeks in the week ending Dec. 4, despite dipping 9% from the last week of the sweep to a 3.0. Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly returned to its pre-sweep levels, dropping 18% to a 2.8 with co-host Neil Patrick Harris. Dr. Phil and Live! are both up year to year, 11% and 8%, respectively.
Sony's Dr. Oz was third, dropping 7% to a 2.7. Warner Bros.' Ellen declined 4% to a 2.5. NBCU's Maury was flat at a 2.3. CTD's Rachael Ray retreated 6% to a 1.6. CTD's The Doctors held steady at a 1.6. NBCU's Jerry Springer remained at a 1.5, while NBCU's Steve Wilkos weakened 7% to a 1.3. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams declined 8% to a 1.1, tying Sony's Nate Berkus, which also fell 8% to a 1.1, matching its season low.
Warner Bros.' recently renewed Anderson was the only talk show to improve week to week, advancing 8% to a 1.4 in households. Debmar-Mercury's Jeremy Kyle was flat at a 0.6, while Entertainment Studios' We the People with Gloria Allred lost 17%to a 0.5.
CTD's new dating show, Excused, eased 14% to a 0.6.
Warner Bros.' rookie off-net sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, added 9% from the prior week to a 6.2, second only to its big brother, Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men. NBCU's 30 Rock improved 15% to a new season high 1.5. Twentieth's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia fell 8% to a 1.2, while Sony's ‘Til Death remained at a 0.7.
Veteran Two and a Half Men added 10% to a 6.5 to lead all off-net sitcoms. Twentieth's Family Guy gained 11% to a 4.2. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother soared 24% to a 3.6. Sony's Seinfeld stayed at a 2.6. Warner Bros.' Friends picked up 9% to a new season high 2.5, tying CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond, which leaped 14% to a 2.5. Twentieth's King of the Hill descended 5% to a 2.1. Carsey-Werner's That 70s Show dropped 15% to a 1.7.
CTD's Entertainment Tonight led the magazines, gaining 3% from the prior week to a 3.9. CTD's Inside Edition was flat at a 3.3. NBCU's Access Hollywood had the magazines biggest gain, climbing 11% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.' TMZ tacked on 5% to a 2.0. CTD's The Insider dropped 6% to a 1.6, tying Warner Bros.' Extra, which jumped 7%.
CTD's Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! both rebounded from Thanksgiving week lows. Unlike most shows, the pair of games counted the low-rated Thanksgiving holiday in their prior week averages. Wheel recovered 19% to a 7.6 to lead all of syndication, while Jeopardy! regained 22% to a 6.2.
Debmar-Mercury's surging Family Feud, starring Steve Harvey, added 19% to a 3.1. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was flat at a 2.5.
CTD's Judge Judy scored a 7.2, making it syndication's second highest rated show, although it slipped 3% from the prior week. CTD's Judge Joe Brown held steady at a 2.8. Warner Bros.' People's Court and Twentieth's Judge Alex were unchanged at a 2.1 and 1.7, respectively. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis fell 6% to a 1.6. Twentieth's Divorce Court softened 6% to a 1.5. CTD's Swift Justice gave back 7% from its season high in the prior session to a 1.4, while Entertainment Studios' America's Court with Judge Ross rose 11% to a 1.0.