Most syndicated shows staged a sharp rebound in the week ending Jan. 26, despite some preemptions for storm coverage in the Northeast on Jan. 21. Talk shows were especially buoyant with all of the top nine moving up from the week before.
CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil led the talkers for the 22nd time in the last 25 sessions with a 3.4 rating, which was up 6% from the week before and up 3% from last year at this time. In addition, Dr. Phil ballooned 18% among women 25-54 to a first-place 2.0 in the key demo.
In second place, Disney/ABC's Live With Kelly and Michael grew 7% to a 3.2 and climbed 14% from last year. Next in line, Warner Bros.' Ellen recovered 7% to a 3.1 after a similar decline in the prior frame. Sony Pictures Television's Dr. Oz hit its second highest rating of the season, improving 4% in households to a 2.4 and 17% among women 25-54 to a 1.4 in the demo.
NBCUniversal's Maury moved ahead 5% to a 2.2. NBCU's Steve Harvey matched its series high, jumping 5% to a 2.0 and increasing 25% from last year—the most of any talk show. Disney/ABC's Katie, which was not renewed for next season, inched up 6% to a 1.8 but was still down 18% from last year. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams also increased 6% landing at a new series high 1.7, which was up 13% from last year.
CTD's Rachael Ray, which will be upgraded in the fall on several ABC-owned stations, rallied 7% to a 1.6. NBCU's Steve Wilkos was off 6% to a 1.5 after reaching a new season high in the previous week. NBCU's Jerry Springer, CTD's The Doctors, NBCU's Trisha and Meredith's The Better Show all held steady at 1.4, 1.3, 0.6 and 0.2, respectively.
SPT's Queen Latifah dominated the rookie talkers for the 18th week with an unchanged 1.2. Challenger Warner Bros.' Bethenny strengthened 13% to a 0.9 and finished at No. 1 in its time period in seven of the top 15 markets among women 18-34. While further back, CTD's The Test returned to a 0.7 after tumbling to a 0.6 the week before. And in late-night CTD's Arsenio Hall held firm at a 0.7.
Among court shows CTD's Judge Judy added 4% to a 7.8 and spiked 8% from last year at this time. Far back in second place, Warner Bros.' People's Court picked up 5% to a 2.0. Twentieth's Divorce Court clocked a 19% increase to a 1.9. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis was up 13% to a 1.8 and Twentieth's soon-to-be-canceled Judge Alex recovered 6% to a 1.7. At the back of the pack was recently renewed MGM rookie Paternity Court, which was flat at a 1.1.
In magazine show action, leader CTD's Entertainment Tonight dipped 3% to a 3.9 but still gained 3% from last year. In addition, companion show ET Weekend rocketed 40% to a new season high 2.1.
CTD's Inside Edition was up 6% to a new season high 3.3 but was flat year-to-year. Warner Bros.' TMZ was unchanged both week-to-week and year-to-year at a 2.1. NBCU's Access Hollywood leaped 5% to a new season high 2.0 and grew 11% from last year. Warner Bros.' Extra maintained its season high 1.8 and was up the most of any magazine from last year, surging 20%. While CTD's The Insider eased 6% from its season high in the prior session to a 1.5 but still spurted 7% from last year.
Further down the magazine rack, MGM's RightThisMinute moved up 8% to a 1.3. Twentieth's sophomore Dish Nation was up 10% to a new season high 1.1, while Trifecta's America Now and Trifecta's rookie OK! TV were both unchanged at 0.4 and 0.3, respectively.
Turning to the games, all shows were up after sinking in the previous stanza. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud was the standout, strengthening 7% to a new season high 6.1. Its biggest rating since Nielsen People Meters began in 1988 and the first time the show passed the 6.0 threshold. Feud also soared to a 3.1 among women 25-54.
CTD's Wheel of Fortune accelerated 4% from the week before to a 7.9, reversing most of its prior session's decline.
CTD's Jeopardy! rebounded 7% to a 7.3, while Disney/ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire spiked 14% to a new season high 2.5 although still down 4% from last year. The spike made Who Wants to Be a Millionaire the biggest week-to-week gainer among game shows, drawing its biggest overall audience in nearly a year and tying its strongest number among women 25-54 in almost two years.
Among off-net sitcoms Warner Bros.' The Big Bang Theory heated up 10% from the week before to a new season high 6.7. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men moved 2% lower to a 4.0. Twentieth's Family Guy weakened 14% to a 3.0. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother tacked on 10% to a 2.3. Warner Bros.' Friends and SPT's Seinfeld both ticked up 5% to new season highs at 2.0, and Twentieth's King of the Hill was flat at a 1.7.
Among the rookie off-net laughers, Twentieth's Modern Family continued to lead with a 4% pop to a 5.1. Twentieth's animated The Cleveland Show was up 5% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.' The Middle rose 6% to a new season high 1.7. While SPT's Community, which resumed its network run last month on NBC, had the sharpest increase, surging 25% and equaling its season high 0.5.