Syndication Ratings: ‘Ellen’ Shows Growth Even Before ‘Idol’ Announcement

Talker was up 7% to a 1.5

Warner Bros.’ Ellen Degeneres had the biggest gain in first run syndication, growing 7% to a 1.5 in the week before being named the fourth judge on American Idol. The biggest draw for Ellen was a 21% boost to a 1.7 Aug. 31 for an appearance by Reese Witherspoon, which was a repeat.  

The picture wasn’t as bright for most other syndicated shows, which continued to decline or drift sideways in the week ending Sept. 6 as PUT levels declined by more than 1.7 million viewers from the week before and by more than 3.4 million since Aug. 17.  

Meanwhile, the rest of the talk list stayed close to the flat line. At the top, CBS Television Distribution’s (CTD) Oprah crept up 3% to a 3.7. CTD’s Dr. Phil dipped 4% to 2.5. Disney/ABC’s Live With Regis and Kelly remained at its 52-week low 2.1. NBCU’s Maury and CTD’s Rachael Ray were stable at 1.7 and 1.5. NBCU’s Jerry Springer, Steve Wilkos (NBCU), Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks and NBCU’s Martha Stewart were all unchanged at 1.2, 1.1, 0.9, and 0.6 respectively.  

Sony's Dr. Oz, which launched on Monday, was flat in metered markets, holding at a 1.7/5. Compared to other talkers, that was lower than the metered averaged for Oprah, Dr. Phil, Live With Regis and Kelly, Ellen, The Doctors and Rachael Ray but ahead of Maury, Jerry Springer, Steve Wilkos, Wendy Williams, Bonnie Hunt and Martha Stewart.

In court, CTD’s Judge Judy was the winner, holding steady at 3.7 and beating everything in syndication for the 14th time in the past 15th week according to the GAA ratings, which gave her a 5.7. CTD’s Judge Joe Brown was unchanged at 2.0.  Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was flat at 1.7.  Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis sank 13% to 1.4.  Twentieth’s Judge Alex, Divorce Court (Twentieth), Christina’s Court (Twentieth) and Sony’s Judge David Young were all unchanged at 1.3, 1.2, 0.7 and 0.7 respectively.  

Elsewhere, CTD’s The Doctors continued to dominate the freshman class despite slipping 6% to 1.6. NBCU’s Deal Or No Deal had a 1.4, even with the week before. Sony’s Judge Karen dropped 11% to 0.8, tying Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which hit a new series low, also sliding 11%. Bringing up the rear were Warner Bros.’ Bonnie Hunt at 0.6, Debmar-Mercury’s Trivial Pursuit at 0.5 and Program Partners’ Family Court at 0.4, all unchanged from the prior week.

In access, game shows did little. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy were both down 2% to 5.6 and 4.7, respectively. Disney/ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud were flat at 2.2 and 1.3, respectively.  

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight topped the magazines as usual with a 3.6, down 3% from the week before, although ET Weekend was up 29% to 1.8, with a show focused on extensive coverage of the Michael Jackson burial.  CTD’s Inside Edition and Warner Bros.’ TMZ were unchanged at 2.9 and 1.9, respectively. NBCU’s Access Hollywood lost 6% to 1.7.  CTD’s The Insider and Warner Bros.’ Extra both held steady at 1.6 and 1.5, respectively.  

Off-net sitcoms were mostly lower. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men fell 5% to 4.1. Twentieth’s Family Guy slipped 3% to 3.6. CTD’s Everybody Loves Raymond was flat at 2.9.  Sony’s Seinfeld and Warner Bros.’ George Lopez each were down 3% to 2.8.  Twentieth’s King of the Hill rose 4% to 2.4. Sony’s King of Queens declined 4% to 2.2. Warner Bros.’ Friends was down 9% to 2.1. Off-TBS strip House of Payne was unchanged at a 2.0.