Syndication Ratings: Holidays Happy For 'Ellen'

Syndies steady as holidays start

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres got an early Christmas gift in the week ending Dec. 21, hitting a new season-high 2.7 live-plus-same-day national household rating and tying the show’s best mark in its six-year history.

Week to week, the show jumped 8%. It also came within just two-tenths of a ratings point of Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis and Kelly, which was flat in third place at a 2.9. That’s the closest the two shows have ever been to each other.

Year to year, Ellen gained 17%, the biggest year-to-year improvement of any strip in first-run syndication. Ellen’s highest-rated show featured Carmen Electra on Dec. 19, when it jumped 16% from the prior week to a 2.9.

Only one other talker could boast of a new season-high: Twentieth’s The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet. The Morning Show improved 25% from the prior week to a 1.0. The show earned a 38% boost to a 1.1 for an episode featuring a performance by Patti LaBelle performing holiday music.

CBS Television Distribution’s top talker, Oprah, in repeats, was up 5% to a 4.5, rebounding off the prior week’s season low. CTD’s Dr. Phil climbed 3% to a 3.6. CTD’s Rachael Ray and NBC Universal’s Maury each were flat at a 1.8. NBC U’s Jerry Springer gained 20% to a 1.2. Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks improved 10% to a 1.1. NBC U’s Steve Wilkos and Martha Stewart each were even at a 1.0 and a 0.9, respectively.

CTD’s Judge Judy remained the top-rated first-run strip in daytime for the second week in a row, beating Oprah and everything else with an unchanged 4.6. CTD’s Judge Joe Brown also was flat at a 2.4. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court gained 5% to a 2.1. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis slipped 5% to a 1.8. Twentieth’s Judge Alex was unchanged at a 1.6. Twentieth’s Divorce Court dipped 7% to a 1.4. Twentieth’s Cristina’s Court improved 9% to a 1.2, while Sony’s Judge David Young was flat at a 0.8.

NBC U’s Deal or No Deal continued to lead the rookie field, holding steady at a 1.9. CTD’s The Doctors, renewed for season two, fell 6% to a 1.7 after being preempted on WCBS New York on Dec. 19 for a special on the weather. Sony’s Judge Karen lost 9% to a 1.0. Warner Bros.’ Bonnie Hunt was flat at 0.9. Debmar-Mercury’s Trivial Pursuit gained 17% to a new series high 0.7. Program Partners’ Family Court with Judge Penny was unchanged at a 0.6.

Among game shows, CTD’s Wheel of Fortune was unchanged at a 7.7. CTD’s Jeopardy! and Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire each hit new season highs, with Jeopardy! gaining 3% to a 6.4 and Millionaire rising 8% to a 2.8. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was flat at a 1.5.

On the magazine rack, CTD’s Entertainment Tonight held steady at a 4.3 The show’s weekend version,
ET Weekend, hit a new season high 2.3, climbing 5% with a show featuring Mary Hart interviewing First Lady Laura Bush in the White House. CTD’s Inside Edition was up 3% to a 3.1. Warner Bros.’ TMZ and NBC U’s Access Hollywood each hit new season high 2.2s, with TMZ gaining 5% and Access Hollywood adding 10%. CTD’s The Insider was unchanged at a 1.9. Warner Bros.’ Extra advanced 6% to a 1.8.

Among the off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men eased 2% to a 5.2. Twentieth’s Family Guy rose 2% to a 4.3. Sony’s Seinfeld was unchanged at a 3.7. CTD’s Everybody Loves Raymond lost 3% to a 3.3. Warner Bros.’ George Lopez gained 7% to a 2.9. Warner Bros.’ Friends improved 4% to a 2.7, while Sony’s King of Queens also increased 4% to a 2.6.

Litton’s off-cable Storm Stories slipped 8% to a 1.2, while the off-TBS strip House of Payne was flat at a 2.5.