Syndication Ratings: 'Dr. Phil' Off to Strong Sweeps Start

Most of syndication down or flat as May sweeps gets underway
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CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil got off to a good sweeps start, gaining 6% to a 3.3 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, and opening its biggest lead over the field since Feb. 3, in the week ended April 27. Dr. Phil also was up 10% compared to last year, talk’s second-largest gain.

The May sweep kicked off April 24 and runs through May 21.

Besides Phil, only one other talker, third-place Warner Bros.’ Ellen was up from the previous session as average levels of people using television sank by more than two million viewers.

Disney/ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael remained number two. Live dipped 3% to a 2.8 for the week, but still grew 8% from last year. Warner Bros.’ Ellen, in third place, recovered 8% from its previous week’s season low to a third-place 2.6.

Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz held steady at a fourth-place 2.0, while NBCUniversal’s Maury gave back 11% to a 1.9 after a big jump in the prior session.

NBCU’s Steve Harvey was unchanged at a 1.8 and tallied the strongest rise of any talker over last year, advancing 13%. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos held steady at a 1.5. Disney/ABC’s Katie slid 7% to a 1.4, and declined 18% from last year at this time, tying Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which was flat. NBCU’s Jerry Springer held firm at a 1.3. CTD’s Rachael Ray receded 14% to a 1.2, while CTD’s The Doctors remained at a 1.1.

NBCU’s soon-to-conclude Trisha was flat at a 0.5 as was Meredith’s The Better Show at a 0.2.

SPT’s Queen Latifah, the only rookie daytime show to be returning for a second season, held steady at a 1.1. Warner Bros.’ already-canceled Bethenny lost 14% to a 0.6, matching its season low and tying CTD’s also canceled The Test.

In late night, CTD’s Arsenio Hall remained at a 0.7 in households.

CTD’s Judge Judy remained the queen of court with a steady 7.0, gaining 3% from last year at this time. Judy was the top-rated first-run show for the 51st time in the past 54 weeks and syndication’s highest rated program overall for the 32nd time in the last 35 weeks. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court came in second with a flat 1.8. The rest of the courts were all down. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis sank 7% to a 1.4, tying Twentieth’s Divorce Court and its already canceled Judge Alex, which both also declined 7% MGM’s new entry Paternity Court was down 9% for the week to a 1.0.

Game shows were very little changed. Disney/ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire, which announced last week that Cedric the Entertainer would be leaving the program after one season in the host seat, saw flat ratings in the week prior to the announcement. Millionaire was even with its previous session at a 2.1, but down 13% from last year at this time, the only year-to-year loss in the category.

CTD’s leader Wheel of Fortune and second place Jeopardy! also were both unchanged for the week at a 6.6 and 6.4, respectively, while Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud dipped 2% to a 4.9. The top-tier magazines saw mixed results. CTD’s leader Entertainment Tonight was steady for the week at a 3.3. CTD’s Inside Edition rebounded 11% to a 3.0 after flirting with its season-low in the prior frame. Warner Bros.’ TMZ and NBCU’s Access Hollywood were unchanged at a 1.8 and 1.5, respectively. Warner Bros.’ Extra, which had the prior week’s biggest gain, eased 7% to a 1.4. CTD's The Insider was off 8% to a 1.2.

Rounding out the field, MGM’s RightThisMinute faded 9% to a 1.0, while Twentieth’s Dish Nation declined 10% to a 0.9, matching its season low. Trifecta’s recently canceled American Now and rookie OK! TV both were unchanged at a 0.3.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory continued to prevail over the off-net sitcoms, picking up 5% from the previous week to a 6.1. Twentieth’s rookie Modern Family was flat at a 4.2. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men softened 3% to a 3.3. Twentieth’s Family Guy declined 4% to a 2.6. SPT’s Seinfeld sagged 10% to a 1.8, tying Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show, which was down 5% and Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother, which was flat. Warner Bros.’ Friends, marking its tenth season since the show ended its primetime run, made it a foursome, remaining flat at a 1.8 for the tenth week in a row.

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