Syndication Ratings: Oprah Improves

Syndicated Shows Stall for Summer

CBS’ Oprah surged 18% in the week ending June 8, making the top talker one of the only syndies to see big gains as summer got into full swing.

Audience levels declined by nearly 1.4 million viewers during the week, and several shows were pre-empted by coverage of the French Open tennis tournament June 6.

Oprah dropped 27% the prior week, but it nearly came all the way back, jumping 18% week-to-week to a 4.5 live-plus-same-day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research.

CBS’ Dr. Phil improved 3% to a 3.8 despite a full week of reruns. Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis and Kelly and NBC Universal’s Maury each were flat at a 2.6 and a 1.8, respectively. Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres went into all repeats and plunged 24% to a new season-low 1.6. CBS’ Rachael Ray held steady at a 1.6. CBS’ Montel Williams slipped 15% to a new season-low 1.1, tying NBCU’s Jerry Springer, which was flat. Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks dipped 9% to a 1.0. NBCU’s rookie, Steve Wilkos, jumped 13% to a 0.9, tying NBCU’s Martha Stewart and Twentieth Television’s newcomer, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, both of which were unchanged.

CBS’ Judge Judy, alone among the court shows, continued its momentum and was again the only first-run strip to improve over last year. At a 4.5, Judge Judy jumped 2% from the prior week, 5% in households from last year and 18% among women 18-34 year-to-year.

In second and third place, CBS’ Judge Joe Brown and Warner Bros.’ People’s Court each dipped 4% to a 2.3 and 2.2, respectively. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis was unchanged at a 1.9. Twentieth’s Divorce Court and Judge Alex each fell 6% to a 1.5, new season lows for both shows. Twentieth’s Cristina’s Court was flat at a 1.1. Sony’s Judge Hatchett tumbled 17% to a new season-low 1.0. Sony’s rookie, Judge David Young, lost 11% to a 0.8. Sony’s Judge Maria Lopez sank 13% to a new season-low 0.7. Radar Entertainment’s newcomer, Jury Duty, trailed the pack at a 0.3, up 50% from the prior week’s 0.2.

Most magazines managed single-digit increases from the prior week. CBS’ Entertainment Tonight remained in first with a 3.9, up 3% from the prior week. The show got an 11% boost to a 4.2 June 3 after covering actress Tatum O’Neal’s arrest on charges of buying crack cocaine. CBS’ Inside Edition jumped 4% to a 2.9. Warner Bros.’ rookie, TMZ, improved 5% to a 2.1. NBCU’s Access Hollywood was up 5% to a 2.0. CBS’ The Insider dipped 5% to a 1.9, while Warner Bros.’ Extra gained7% to a 1.6.

Game shows were most flat or a bit down, with CBS’ Wheel of Fortune dipping 2% to a 6.5. CBS’ Jeopardy! lost 7% to a 5.4. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire fell 4% to a new season low 2.6. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud, Program Partners’ Merv Griffin’s Crosswords and Twentieth’s Temptation all were flat at a 1.6, 0.8, and 0.5, respectively.

Most sitcoms sat up for the week. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men rose 2% to a 4.9, followed by Twentieth’s Family Guy, up 2% to a 4.2. Sony’s Seinfeld improved 6% to a 3.6. CBS’ Everybody Loves Raymond was unchanged at a 3.2. Warner Bros.’ George Lopez gained 3% to a 3.0. Sony’s King of Queens was flat at a 2.8, while Warner Bros.’ Friends fell 4% to a 2.5.