Few shows managed to show gains in the February 2017 sweep that ran from Feb. 2 to March 1.
CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil was the only talk show among the top six to out-perform Feb. 2016, growing 11% to a 3.9 live plus same day national sweep household average according to Nielsen Media Research.
Phil has led the talk shows for 16 major sweeps in a row and won this one by its widest margin ever. Among women 25-54, Phil was again easily best with a 1.8 in the demo, up 6% from last year at this time.
At least in part because it was the second-warmest February on record in the U.S., every other talk and court show was down year to year except NBCU’s Jerry Springer and Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen.
The race for second place ended in a photo finish with Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres both posting a 2.4. Live was off 23% from last February, while Ellen dropped 14%.
Fourth place was also a dead heat between NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey and Maury. Harvey slid 16% year over year to a 1.6, while Maury eased 11%.
Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams weakened 12% from last February to a sixth-place 1.5.
NBCU’s two other conflict talkers — Steve Wilkos and Jerry Springer — tied for seventh, with Wilkos sagging 7% and Springer gaining 8%.
CTD’s Rachael Ray dropped from seventh place last February into a tie for ninth with Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz. Ray was down 19% to a 1.3, while Oz slumped 13%.
NBCU’s newcomer Harry averaged a 1.1 in its first February sweep. Sophomore Crime Watch Daily was one of only three talkers to avoid year-to-year losses, holding steady at a 1.0.
Rounding out the field were CTD’s The Doctors and Warner Bros.’ The Real, both of which relinquished 18% to 0.9.
All of the court shows were lower, including CTD’s leader Judge Judy, which dipped 8% to a 7.3.
CTD’s Hot Bench, eased 4% year to year, to a 2.6 and ranked as the third-highest daytime strip for the first time in any sweep behind Judy and Phil.
Warner Bros.’ People’s Court shrank 15% to a 1.7, while its JudgeMathis moved down 13% to a 1.4. Twentieth’s Divorce Court fell 15% to a 1.1. Trifecta’s JudgeFaith faded 11% to a 0.8.
In access, Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud finished 4% higher at a 7.4 to lead all of syndication. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune skidded 6% to a second-place 6.7. CTD’s Jeopardy! dipped 1% to a 6.6.
Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, with stronger clearances on ABC-owned stations, added 21% to a 1.7. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game, which will end this season, softened 7% to a 1.4.
Elsewhere, Disney-ABC’s viral video show RightThisMinute, which also moved to stronger stations this season, picked up 17% to a 1.4.
All of the magazines fell from last year. CTD’s leader, Entertainment Tonight, dipped 3% to a 3.4 sweep average, extending its winning streak to 105 consecutive sweeps. ET also got a 24% boost from the prior week to a 4.0 on Feb. 27 for its next-day coverage of the 89th Academy Awards.
CTD’s Inside Edition retreated 3% for the sweep to a 3.0. Warner Bros.’ TMZ was off 11% to a 1.6. NBCU’s Access Hollywood eroded 12% to a 1.5, but rose 29% from the prior week to a 1.8 on Feb. 27 after the Oscars. Warner Bros.’ Extra yielded 13% to a 1.3, but jumped 25% to a 1.5 with its Oscar coverage. CTD’s TheInsider, which will end its run after this season, backed off 8% to a 1.2, but got an 18% bump from the prior week on Feb. 27 to a 1.3.
Twentieth’s Dish Nation declined 11% to a 0.8. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page posted a 0.3 in its first February sweep under that title.
All of the top-ten off-net sitcoms were down compared to last February.
Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory slipped 8% to a 5.6 in its sixth season in syndication. Twentieth’s Modern Family declined 9% to a 3.1 in year four. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved 7% lower to a 2.6 in season 10. Twentieth’s Family Guy gave back 5% to a 2.0 in year 10, tying Twentieth’s freshman Last Man Standing in its first February sweep. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly dropped 10% to a 1.9 in year three. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls plunged 23% to a 1.7 in its sophomore season. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother was greeted with a 24% decline to a 1.3 in season 7. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show dropped 29% to a 1.2 in year four, tying Twentieth’s King of the Hill, which descended 8% in year 16, and SPT’s Seinfeld, which deteriorated 37% in season 22.