Syndication Ratings: 'Ellen' Rides ‘Idol’ Announcement To Week’s Biggest Boost

Household ratings shot up 33% from week before to a 2.0

The top five talkers, most of which starting airing original programming, were red hot in the week ending Sept. 13, a week that included the Labor Day holiday, the annual telethon and U.S. Open tennis.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen Degeneres got the biggest boost for the second week in a row, as her household ratings shot up 33% from  the week before to a 2.0 amid news of her being named the fourth judge on American Idol. Among key demos, Ellen jumped 43% among women 18-34, 50% among women 18-49 and 40% among women 25-54.  

Top gabber, CBS Television Distribution’s (CTD) Oprah gained 19% to a 4.4. CTD’s Dr. Phil grew 8% to a 2.7.  Disney/ABC’s Live With Regis and Kelly was up 10%  to 2.3. CTD’s The Doctors joined the veteran list as the No. 5 talk  show, climbing 13% to 1.8. In addition, The Doctors was the only one of the top 5 to show an increase over last year at this time, surging 38% over its year-ago delivery. Meanwhile, NBCU’s Maury slipped 6% to 1.6. CTD’s Rachael Ray was unchanged at 1.5.  NBCU’s Jerry Springer fell  8% to 1.1, tying NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, which was flat at a 1.1.   Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams rebounded 25% from its series-low the week before to a 1.0. Warner Bros.’ Bonnie Hunt advanced 17% to a 0.7. NBCU’s Martha Stewart was steady at 0.6.

Court shows were  also very solid performers. CTD’s Judge Judy led the group with a 3.7,  even with the prior session.  Her 5.7 GAA rating made her the no.1  syndicated show overall for the 15th time in 16 weeks. CTD’s Judge Joe Brown rose 5% to 2.1. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court added 12% to 1.9. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis jumped 21% to 1.7.  Twentieth’s Divorce Court leaped 17% to a 1.4, tying Judge Alex (Twentieth), which was up 8% to  1.4. Warner Bros.’ Judge Jeanine Pirro entered syndication with a 1.0  after a season on The CW network.

Among the newest syndicated offerings, NBCU’s The Office led the four off-net sitcoms debuting Sept. 21, with a 1.1/2 after scoring a 2.0/3 in New York, which was up 11% from what Seinfeld did in the same time period last year.  Twentieth’s My Name is Earl had a 0.9/2 in metered markets. CTD’s Everybody Hates Chris logged  a 0.5/1. Trifecta's Cold Case Files got a 0.3/1.

The top first-run debut this week was Twentieth’s Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader, which opened with a 0.9/2. In New York, the show notched a 1.3/3 at 5:30  p.m. on WNYW and was up 18% from both its lead-in and year-ago time periods. Also launching Monday was Litton’s Street Court, which averaged a 0.5/2. Sony’s Dr. Oz, which began Sept. 14, earned a 1.8/5 on Monday.   

Back in the national ratings, game shows continued to be  soft. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune slid 2% to 5.5. CTD’s Jeopardy dropped 6% to 4.4. Disney/ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and  Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud were flat at 2.2 and 1.3 respectively. NBCU’s Deal Or No Deal was down 14% to 1.2.   

Elsewhere, CTD’s Entertainment Tonight won the magazine race, holding steady at a 3.6. In the hotly-contested Emmy recap coverage the night of Sept. 21, both ET and its sister show the Insider were the top-rated magazines in both New York and L.A. for their time periods. Overall, ET averaged a 4.7/8 for its primary runs in the metered markets Monday.  CTD’s Inside Edition, earned a 3.1/7.  NBCU’s Access Hollywood pulled a 2.9/6. The Insider scored a 2.2/5. Warner  Bros.’ Extra pulled a 2.1/5. Warner Bros.’ TMZ averaged a 1.9/4.   

Nationally for the week ending Sept. 13, second-place Inside Edition lost 7% to 2.7. Access Hollywood was up 12% to 1.9, tying TMZ which was flat at 1.9. The Insider and Extra were unchanged at 1.6  and 1.5 respectively.  

Among off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men was up 7% to 4.4. Twentieth’s Family Guy rose 3% to  3.7.  Sony’s Seinfeld climbed 11% to 3.1. CTD’s Everybody Loves Raymond was down 7% to 2.7.  Warner Bros.’ George Lopez dropped 11% to  2.5. Twentieth’s King of the Hill was unchanged at 2.4. Sony’s King of Queens was up 5% to 2.3, landing in a tie with Warner Bros.’ Friends which added 10% to 2.3. CBS’ Frasier was up 13% to 1.8, tying  Debmar-Mercury’s House of Payne, which declined 10% to 1.8.