The arrival of daylight savings -- and darker, colder days -- meant a marked increase in the performance of most syndicated shows in the week ended Nov. 11, with many programs turning in season- or series-highs.
Ratings for the prior week ended Nov. 4, was broken out by Nielsen. That's due to preemptions and power outages due to Superstorm Sandy, which hit the East Coast on Oct. 29. To be "broken out" that means that any show that lost 10% or more of its coverage - and that was all nationally-cleared shows in that week -- did not have its ratings counted in its average for the week. Shows were measured in all available markets, however.
As a result, this week's shows will be measured against their performance of two weeks ago, which was the week ended Oct. 28.
CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil continued to dominate the talkers for the 8th consecutive week, hitting a season-high 3.2, up 7% from two weeks prior. Phil also was tops among women 25-54, jump 12% to a 1.9.
Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly and Michael came in second, with its best performance since its season premiere, when Strahan was finally named Regis Philbin's successor and Kelly Ripa's permanent co-host. Compared to two weeks earlier, Live! grew 12% to a 2.8, matching its season high.
In third place, Warner Bros.' Ellen scored a new season-high 2.6, marking an 8% increase. Sony's Dr. Oz picked up 9% to also hit a new season-high 2.5, and narrowed the margin that the show has declined year to year, dropping just 7% from last year at this time.
The top-ten talker with the biggest improvement from two weeks earlier was NBCUniversal's Maury, which jumped 14% to a new season-high 2.4 and led the category among women 18-49 with a 1.6 and women 18-34 with a 1.4.
CTD's Rachael Ray ramped up 7% to a 1.5. NBCU's Steve Wilkos also advanced 7% to a new season-best 1.5, tying Rachael and clocking the largest year-to-year gain of any talk show, adding 15%.
CTD's The Doctors held steady at a 1.4, tying NBCU's Jerry Springer, which spiked 8%.
Warner Bros.' Anderson Live! -- the host of which, CNN's Anderson Cooper, is currently covering the hostilities in the Middle East from the Gaza Strip -- slipped 9% to a 1.0, tying Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams, which was flat. Debmar-Mercury's Jeremy Kyle gained one-tenth of a ratings point, or 20%, to a new season-high 0.6.
Among the rookies, Disney-ABC's Katie earned a 1.8, off 5% from two weeks ago. NBCU's Steve Harvey added 8% to return to its steady season-average 1.3. CTD's Jeff Probst, Twentieth's Ricki Lake and NBCU's Trisha all held firm at a 0.7, 0.7 and 0.5, respectively.
In the metered markets, NBCU's Access Hollywood Live notched a 1.1/4, steady for the week but up 22% in rating from last year at this time.
Warner Bros.' Let's Ask America, the new interactive game show that airs on 14 Scripps-owned stations, was steady in rating for the week, at a 1.7/3, and improved 13% among women 25-54 to a 0.9/3.
CTD's Judge Judy climbed 10%, notching a new season-high 7.4 and topping all first-run shows.
In second place, CTD's Judge Joe Brown dipped 4% to a 2.4. Warner Bros.' People's Court added 6% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis and Twentieth's Divorce Court each were flat at a 1.6 and 1.3, respectively. Twentieth's Judge Alex bucked the uptrend, sinking 8% to a new season low 1.2 for the second week in a row, and dropping 29% from the same week last year, when the show was averaging a 1.7.
Entertainment Studios' America's Court jumped 13% to a 0.9. ES' newcomer, Justice for All, dropped 20% to a 0.4, while ES' We the People perked up 50% or one-tenth of a ratings point to a 0.3.
Warner Bros' TMZ was the big gainer among magazines, most of which were hurt by significant preemptions for election coverage. TMZ surged 25% from the week ending Oct. 28 to a new season-high 2.0.
CTD's leader, Entertainment Tonight, won the magazine race for a milestone 850th week in a row, going back to 1996, despite dipping 3% for the session to a 3.8.
Meanwhile, CTD's ET Weekend jumped 17% to a new season-high 2.1, up 24% over last year at this time.
CTD's Inside Edition edged ahead 3% to a 3.1. NBCU's Access Hollywood held firm at a 1.6. Warner Bros.' Extra held steady at a 1.5.
CTD's The Insider, which will be rebranded omg! Insider in January, relinquished 7% to a 1.4. Twentieth's rookie, Dish Nation, trailed at an unchanged 0.8.
Among the game shows, CTD's Wheel of Fortune improved 6% to a 7.0. CTD's Jeopardy! tacked on 7% to a 6.4, with both shows posting new season highs. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud got a nice boost after starting a run on GSN, marking the biggest gain in the genre, with a 12% increase since the week ended Oct. 28 to a new series-high 4.6.
Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire was flat at a 2.3, while NBCU's new entry, Baggage, bumped up 10% to a 1.1.
Among the off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' Big Bang Theory rocketed 21% to a new season-high 7.5, topping the syndication charts. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men strengthened 17% to a new season-best 5.5. Twentieth's Family Guy gained 6% to a 3.8. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother added 13% to a 2.6. Twentieth's King of the Hill rose 11% to a 2.1. Sony's Seinfeld slid 5% to a 2.0, while Warner Bros.' Friends and CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond both were flat at a 1.9.