Syndication Ratings: Syndies Slow Ahead of May Sweep

'Dr. Phil' edges out 'Live' to lead talkers
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CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil regained sole possession of the top talk spot in the week ended April 19, breaking two weeks of ties with Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael.

Phil held steady at a 3.1 live plus same day ratings average in households, while Live dropped 10% to a 2.8. Dr. Phil also finished first among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54 at a 1.5.

Most syndies were flat or down in the week before the start of the May sweep, which kicked off April 23 and runs through May 20.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen, on Sunday named best entertainment talker by the Daytime Emmys, and NBCUniversal’s Maury both were flat at a 2.4 and 1.9, respectively. However, Maury tied Live for second among women 25-54 at a 1.3, while Ellen was fourth at a 1.2.

NBCU’s Steve Harvey, which just won its second consecutive Daytime Emmy as outstanding informative talk show, rounded out the top five, dipping 5% to a 1.8 in households.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, back in originals, rebounded after a sharp drop in the prior week, recovering 8% to a 1.4 and tying NBCU’s Steve Wilkos and Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, both of which were unchanged. Compared to last year at this time, Dr. Oz, the host of which is defending himself against 10 doctors who wrote a letter to Columbia University requesting his removal, was down the most of any talk show, dropping 30%. That said, Oz last fall was downgraded in many markets and lost many double runs.

CTD’s Rachael Ray relinquished 7% to a 1.3, tying NBCU’s Jerry Springer, which was steady. NBCU’s freshman Meredith Vieira was unchanged at a 1.1, tying Warner Bros.’ rookie The Real, which improved 10%. CTD’s The Doctors remained at a 1.0.

While no talkers were up compared to the same week last year, five shows — Phil, Ellen, Steve Harvey, Wendy Williams and Jerry Springer — all are steady compared to last year.

CTD’s Judge Judy continued to be court shows force majeur. Judge Judy led the genre by a wide margin, even though it dipped 2% to a 6.4 in a full week of encore episodes. CTD’s Hot Bench, created by Judge Judy Sheindlin, held on to second place at a 1.9, a 6% jump to match its series high, even though it was repeats two of the five days. At the beginning of April, Hot Bench moved to primary CBS stations in several top markets after SPT’s Queen Latifah departed those time slots.

In third place, Warner Bros.’ People’s Court climbed 6% to a 1.7. Twentieth’s Divorce Court and Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis each were flat at a 1.4. MGM’s Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court sank 8% to a 1.1. Trifecta’s Judge Faith, which is getting upgraded in several markets for season two, was flat at a 0.7.

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune and CTD’s Jeopardy! tied to lead the games for the second time in the past three weeks. Wheel slowed down 3% to a 6.6, while Jeopardy! downticked 1%. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was the only game with a winning week, edging up 2% to a 6.1 and growing 22% from last year at this time. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire, which will add The Bachelor’s Chris Harrison as host next fall, slumped 6% to a 1.6, equalling its series low and dropping 24% from last year at this time.

Debmar-Mercury’s rookie Celebrity Name Game — the host of which, Craig Ferguson, was named outstanding game-show host at the Daytime Emmys — remained at a 1.3 for the fourth week in a row.

MGM’s video variety show RightThisMinute advanced 7% to a 1.5.

Among magazines, CTD’s leader Entertainment Tonight and CTD’s second-place Inside Edition each eased 3% to a 3.2 and 3.0 respectively. Warner Bros.’ TMZ recovered 5% to a 2.0. NBCU’s Access Hollywood yielded 6% to a 1.6. Warner Bros.’ Extra held steady at a 1.4. CTD’s The Insider backtracked 8% to a 1.2. Twentieth’s Dish Nation climbed 10% to a 1.1, while Trifecta’s OK! TV dropped 33% from a 0.3 to a 0.2.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory continued to lead the off-net sitcoms, although it lost 5% for the week to a 5.2. Twentieth’s Modern Family, Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men and Twentieth’s Family Guy all were flat at a 3.5, 2.8 and 2.4, respectively. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother moved up 5% to a 2.2. Warner Bros.’ newcomer Mike & Molly shrank 9% to a 2.1. SPT’s Seinfeld slid 5% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.’ The Middle moved up 6% to a 1.8. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show lost 6% to a 1.7, while Twentieth’s King of the Hill was flat at a 1.6.

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