Syndication Ratings: Ellen’s Early Premiere Pays Dividends

Labor Day Holiday, Pre-Emptions for U.S. Open Tennis on CBS Drop Numbers
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Warner Bros.’ Ellen reaped the rewards of its early premiere in the week ending Sept. 9, the last week prior to syndication’s premieres.

Many other syndicated shows saw week-to-week dips due to the Labor Day holiday and pre-emptions due to CBS’ coverage of the U.S. Open tennis championships.

Ellen, which premiered its fifth season Sept. 4, was up 43% from the prior week to a 2.0 household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. That’s Ellen’s best number in 14 weeks, most of which were spent in repeats. Ellen’s season premiere -- taped at New York’s Lincoln Center and featuring Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) -- jumped 57% from the prior week to a 2.2.

Most of the other talkers also fared well. CBS’ The Oprah Winfrey Show remained at the head of the class at a 4.5 but was flat for the week. CBS’ Dr. Phil gained ground, moving up 6% to a 3.8, the show’s highest rating in eight weeks despite still being in repeats. Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis and Kellypremiered its 20th season and was up 16% to a 2.9.

NBC Universal’s Jerry Springer jumped 7% on the week to a 1.5. Warner Bros.’ Tyra increased 20% to a 1.2. And NBC Universal’s The Martha Stewart Show rose 11% to a 1.0. All of the other talkers were unchanged week to week except NBC U’s Maury, which fell 5% to a 1.9.

The top three court shows were all down week-to-week. CBS’ Judge Judy lost 4% to a 4.4. CBS’ Judge Joe Brown slid 7% to a 2.5. And Warner Bros.’ People’s Court fell 4% to a 2.4.

NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood and Warner Bros.’ Extra! each saw gains for the week, with Access jumping 10% to a 2.3 and Extra! gaining 6% to a 1.8. CBS’ Entertainment Tonight remained No. 1 at a 4.0, dipping just 2%. CBS’ Inside Edition at a 2.9 was down 3%. CBS’ The Insider was unchanged at a 2.1.

Among the games, CBS’ Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! both were largely steady, with Wheel dipping 3% to a 6.3 and Jeopardy! picking up 2% to a 5.3. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire added 4% to a 2.9. And Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was flat at a 1.6.