The 2018 Winter Olympics, broadcast across the channels of NBC Universal, overtook the TV landscape in the week ending February 18, and as a result, most syndicated shows were retitled as Olympic specials to break out their lower weekly ratings from their overall averages.
In past years, only a handful of shows have opted to exclude their regular titles and averages from Olympic weeks, but this year most shows took the option.
Beyond the Olympics, many shows also were heavily disrupted by coverage of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting on Feb. 14 and its aftermath, and to a much lesser extent by coverage of President Donald Trump’s press conference on Feb. 16.
On top of having to compete against the Olympics, CBS Television Distribution’s talk leader Dr. Phillost its primary runs in at least 10 metered markets on NBC affiliates for the entire week. In addition, Phil’s primary run was partially or completely lost in 30 metered markets on Feb. 14 alone due to news coverage. That said, the temporarily renamed Dr. Phil Olympic Week was the top talker, averaging a 2.9 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research.
Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Dr. Phil led talk at a 1.2.
Disney-ABC’s retitled Live With Kelly and Ryan Olympics was the only other talk show to come in above the 2.0 rating level, clocking a 2.3 for second place.
Warner Bros.’ The Ellen DeGeneres Olympics, which aired on many NBC affiliates across the country, came in at a 1.9, tying NBCU’s Maury, which was neither renamed nor broken out and sank 6% compared to the prior week. NBCU’s conflict talkers Steve Wilkos and Jerry Springer both were flat week to week at a 1.2. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which took three of the five days off after coming down with the flu, aired repeats of the show on those days, and as a result the show retreated 21% to a 1.1, tying CTD’s Rachael Ray Olympics.
NBCU’s The Steve Olympics Specials, with Steve heavily cleared on NBC affiliates, averaged a 0.9, tying Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen, which gave back 18%, and Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz Olympic Shows.
NBCU’s Harry, which will end after this season, deteriorated 22% to a new season-low 0.7, tying Warner Bros.’ The Real, which fell back 13%, and CTD’s The Doctors Olympics.
Among the rookies, CTD’s DailyMailTV Olympics was little affected by either the Games or news preemptions, averaging a 1.1 in households and a 0.6 among women 25-54. Twentieth’s Page Six TV ran into preemptions and fell back 13% to a 0.7 in households, but held steady at a 0.5 among women 25-54.
Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask remained at a 0.5 in homes and a 0.3 among women 25-54. Disney-ABC’s Pickler & Ben Olympics posted a 0.3 in households, with a 0.1 in the key demo.
CTD’s Judge Judy Olympics Specials drew a 6.4 despite preemptions. CTD’s Hot Bench Olympics averaged a 2.2. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis and Twentieth’s Divorce Court all held steady at a 1.7, 1.2 and 1.0, respectively. Trifecta’s Judge Faith fell 14% to a 0.6.
In access, Warner Bros.’ TMZ was one of only two magazines not to be renamed and slid 13% to a 1.3. The other was Trifecta’s Celebrity Page, which dropped 33% to a 0.2.
CTD’s EntertainmentTonight and InsideEdition, both retitled as Olympic specials, tied for the category lead at a 2.7. NBC’s Access and Warner Bros.’ ExtraOlympics specials, both of which were heavily preempted all week, logged a 1.2 and 0.7, respectively.
Syndicators mostly broke out game shows, with only Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud airing under its usual title and slipping 10% for the week to a 6.5. CTD’s Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune and Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire Olympic strips averaged a 5.8, 5.7 and 1.6, respectively.
Viral video show RIghtThisMinute Olympics averaged a 1.3, while NBCU’s off-net true-crime strip Dateline dropped 20% to a 1.2.
None of the off-net sitcoms were retitled for the Olympics, but most of their ratings dropped against the Games. Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory lost 13% to a 4.7. Twentieth’s ModernFamily faded 4% to a 2.4. Twentieth’s Last Man Standing fell 10% to a 1.8. SPT’s newcomer The Goldbergs gave up 6% to a 1.7. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved down 6% to a 1.6. Twentieth’s Family Guy, Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly, Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls and Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show all were unchanged at a 1.5, 1.5, 1.2 and 1.1, respectively. SPT’s Seinfeld sank 9% to a new series-low 1.0, tying Twentieth’s King of the Hill, which was flat.
Warner Bros.’ rookie Mom slumped 10% to a 0.9, while CTD’s The Game stayed at a 0.4.