Two weeks ahead of the November sweeps, much of syndication had a bias to the upside in the week ending Oct. 20, despite competition from three American League Championship baseball games.
In daytime, five of the top seven talkers were up for the week while the other two held firm. CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil was the clear talk leader, spiking 7% from the prior week and widening his lead in the genre to a 3.0 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly and Michael, which was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame on Monday night, was a solid second at a steady 2.7.
Warner Bros.' Ellen added 4% to a third place 2.5.
NBCUniversal's Maury gained 5% to a 2.0, tying Sony Pictures Television's Dr. Oz, which held steady.
Disney-ABC's Katie strengthened 6% to a 1.7, and increased 13% among women 25-54 to a 0.9. NBCU's fellow sophomore, Steve Harvey, scored a new season-high 1.7, tying Katie. Harvey jumped 6% from the prior week in households and 10% among women 25-54 to a 1.1.
Harvey also grew 31% from last year at this time, which was talk's second biggest year-to-year jump. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams, which was up 8% to a new season-high 1.4, grew the most with a 40% gain from last year.
CTD's Rachael Ray remained at a 1.4, tying Williams.
NBCU's Jerry Springer was flat at a 1.2, tying NBCU's Steve Wilkos, which gave back 8%, and CTD's The Doctors, which climbed 9% to a 1.2.
NBCU's Trisha was on par with the previous week's 0.5, while Meredith's The Better Show, in last place, climbed 100% from a 0.1 to a 0.2.
Among the season's talk newcomers, SPT's Queen Latifah held on to the rookie talk crown, holding steady at a 1.1.
Warner Bros.' Bethenny gained 13% to a 0.9, the show's best showing in a month. CTD's The Test regained the 20% it had lost in the prior week to return to a 0.6. In late night, CTD's new entry Arsenio Hall held firm at a 0.7.
In access, CTD's Entertainment Tonight scored its best week of the season so far, spurting 6% form the prior session to a 3.8.
CTD's Inside Edition was flat at a 2.8. NBCU's Access Hollywood moved into second place among all entertainment magazines with a steady 1.7, up 13% from last year at this time, representing the largest year-to-year increase in the category.
On the other hand, Warner Bros.' TMZ eroded 11% to a 1.6, its lowest rating since the week of Nov. 19, 2012.
Warner Bros.' Extra, which had the second best year-to-year improvement with a gain of 7%, held steady at a 1.5. CTD's omg! Insider added 7% to tie Extra.
Twentieth's sophomore Dish Nation and MGM's RightThisMinute both sank 10% to a 0.9, while Trifecta's America Now and OK! TV were flat at a 0.3 and 0.2, respectively.
Elsewhere, games were fairly quiet. CTD's Wheel of Fortune recovered most of its loss from the previous session, edging up 3% for the week to a 6.6. CTD's Jeopardy! weakened 2% to a 5.8. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud finished 7% higher at a new season high 4.6. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire was steady at a 2.1.
CTD's Judge Judy remained at the top of the first-run chart for the 21st week in a row, although it dipped 3% to a 6.7, still up 8% from last year at this time.
Warner Bros.' People's Court and Judge Mathis, and Twentieth's Judge Alex all were flat at a 1.6, 1.5 and 1.5, respectively. Twentieth's Divorce Court dropped 7% to a 1.4. MGM's freshman Paternity Court faded 11% to a 0.8.
Twentieth's Modern Family led the rookie off-nets its fourth week, although the show, heavily preempted by baseball, dropped 11% to a 3.9. Twentieth's The Cleveland Show was flat at a 1.8. Warner Bros.' The Middle improved 8% to a 1.4. SPT's Community held firm at a 0.4.
Among the veteran sitcoms, Warner Bros.' The Big Bang Theory led with a 5.6, advancing 6% for the week. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men rose 3% to a 3.7. Twentieth's Family Guy rallied 4% to a 2.6. Twentieth's How I Met your Mother picked up 5% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.' Friends was flat at a 1.7, while Twentieth's King of the HIll was flat at a 1.6, tying SPT's Seinfeld, which gained 7%.