Syndication Ratings: 'Ellen' Takes Talk Lead with '12 Days of Christmas' Giveaways

Show hits season high in week ended Dec. 21
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Ellen's annual 12 Days of Christmas giveaway shows moved Warner Bros.' strip up to the head of the talk show class, scoring a season-high 3.2 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, in the pre-Christmas week ending Dec. 21.

That was up 7% from the prior week and a tenth of a point ahead of CBS Television Distribution’s usual leader, Dr. Phil, and Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael both of which scored a 3.1 in households. Phil dipped 3% for the week while Live held steady.

Year to year, Ellen was up 7% while Phil and Live each grew 11% from last year at this time. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Ellen led with a 1.6, followed by Phil and Live at a 1.5.

NBCU’s Maury moved up to fourth place with a 5% jump to a 2.0 in households. NBCU’s Steve Harvey eased 5% to a 1.9, but gained 10% to a new season high 1.1 among women 25-54. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams was unchanged at a 1.7, but increased 31% from last year at this time and hit a new season high 1.3 in the key demo, tying Maury.

NBCU’s Steve Wilkos improved 7% in households to a 1.5, and rose 11% among women 25-54 to a 1.0. Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz was down 13% to a 1.4, after setting a new season high in the prior week, tying CTD's Rachael Ray, which relinquished 7%. NBCU’s Jerry Springer stayed at a 1.3.

CTD’s The Doctors and SPT’s Queen Latifah, now out of production, both declined 9% to a 1.0, while Meredith’s The Better Show was unchanged at a 0.2.

Among the rookies, CTD’s season-to-date leader Hot Bench, moving to CBS-owned stations in top markets after Queen Latifah goes off the air at the end of March, spiked 7% to a first place 1.6 in households. Among women 25-54, Hot Bench also led, clocking a 0.9.

NBCU’s Meredith Vieira, also returning next season, held steady at a 1.2, tying Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game.

Warner Bros.’ The Real rallied 10% to a new season high 1.1, after holding at a 1.0 for 10 of the previous 11 weeks. Trifecta’s Judge Faith was flat at a 0.7.

All of the court shows were down for the week, with CTD’s Judge Judy dipping 4% from the prior week to a 6.8. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court sank 6% to a 1.6. Twentieth’s Divorce Court was flat at a 1.5. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis dropped 7% to a 1.3. MGM’s sophomore, Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court, lost 8% to a 1.1.

Magazines were stable after their recent run-up on the ongoing Bill Cosby sexual assault story. CTD’s leader Entertainment Tonight held steady for the week at a 3.4. CTD’s Inside Edition inched up 3% to a 3.2. Warner Bros.’ TMZ was flat at a 2.0. NBCU’s Access Hollywood eased 6% to a 1.7. Warner Bros.’ Extra also dropped 6% to a 1.6, after hitting a new season high in the prior week. CTD’s The Insider was steady at a 1.3.

Rounding out the field, Twentieth’s Dish Nation picked up 10% to a 1.1, while Trifecta’s OK! TV was flat at a 0.2.

Game shows were slow for the week but mostly up for the year. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune picked up 1% to a 7.3 to lead all of syndication, climbing 4% from last year at this time. CTD’s Jeopardy! dipped 1% to a 6.8, but gained 6% from last year. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was flat at a 6.3 but up 21% from a year ago. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire fell to a new season low 1.7, losing 6% from the prior week and 19% from last year at this time.

Meanwhile, MGM’s video variety show RightThisMinute fell 6% to a 1.6.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory was flat at a 6.0 to lead the off-net sitcoms. Twentieth’s Modern Family moved up 2% to a 4.2. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men and Twentieth’s Family Guy remained at a 3.1 and 2.5, respectively. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother slipped 4% to a 2.4, tying Warner Bros.’ newcomer Mike & Molly, which was flat. SPT’s Seinfeld held steady at a 2.0. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show slid 5% to a 1.8. Twentieth’s King of the Hill was flat at a 1.6, while Warner Bros.’ sophomore The Middle tumbled 13% to a 1.3.