Syndication Ratings: Syndies Zig-Zag Through First Full Week of November

Breaking new coverage of Fort Hood, elections provided competition

Syndicated shows zig-zagged through the first full week of the November sweeps as benefits from the end of daylight savings time were offset by games five and six of the Phillies/Yankees World Series and breaking news coverage of the Fort Hood shooting and elections, all three of which provided swift competition as well as preemptions.  

Among the standouts in the week ending Nov. 8 were CBS Television Distribution’s (CTD) Judge Judy, which scored a 4.6, its highest rating in 37 weeks and improved 2% from the week before and 7% from last year.  In a distant second place among the court shows, CTD’s Judge Joe Brown slipped 5% to 2.1. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court lost 5% to 1.9.  However, Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis, Twentieth’s Judge Alex and Twentieth’s Divorce Court each gained 7% to 1.6, 1.5 and 1.5 respectively.  Divorce, like Judy, hit a new season high. Warner Bros.’ Judge Jeannine Pirro trailed the legal field with an unchanged 1.0.  

Elsewhere in daytime, talk shows were all down or flat.  However, CTD’s Oprah was the only one to drop to a new season-low, slipping 6% to a 4.9. But, Monday’s (Nov. 16) exclusive Sarah Palin interview averaged a 7.2 rating/18 share for all runs in the metered markets, up 36% from last November’s time period average. CTD’s Dr. Phil dipped 3% to 2.9 after hitting a new season high in the prior session. Disney/ABC’s Live With Regis and Kelly and Warner Bros.’ Ellen Degeneres were flat at 2.7 and 2.3 respectively. CTD’s The Doctors was down 5% to 2.0 but was still up 25% from last year, the most of any talk show. NBCU’s Maury lost 5% to 1.8. CTD’s Rachael Ray slipped 11% to 1.7.  Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks hit a new season high of 1.3 in households, building 18% from the previous week.  She averaged a 0.8 in the demo, up from 0.7 the week before. NBCU’s Jerry Springer dropped 8% to 1.2.  NBCU’s Steve Wilkos was flat at 1.1.  Warner Bros.’ Bonnie Hunt sank 11% to 0.8.  NBCU’s Martha Stewart held steady at 0.6.  

Sony’s Dr. Oz continued to crush his fellow first run freshmen, although he remained flat at 2.7.  Twentieth’s Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader was up 6% to a new season high 1.7.  Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which was just renewed for two more years on Fox Television stations, was down 8% to 1.1.  Season-to-date, Wendy has a 1.1 average and is tied with Steve Wilkos for tenth place among the 13 talkers. Litton’s Street Court was unchanged at 0.6.  

In access, CTD’s Entertainment Tonight topped the magazine rack with a 4.7, its best Nielsen performance since last January.  It grew 2% from the week before.  ET continued to benefit from its ongoing coverage of Chaz, formerly Chastity Bono, who spoke candidly to the show about finding life as a man following a sex change operation.  Also hitting a new season high was Warner Bros.’ Extra, which jumped 6% to 1.9, tying Warner Bros.’ TMZ for fourth place.  TMZ was flat at 1.9.  In second place, CTD’s Inside Edition was up 3% to 3.2, followed by NBCU’s Access Hollywood, which was unchanged at 2.1.  CTD’s The Insider was down 6% to a 1.7.  

Game shows were little changed except for leader CTD’s Wheel of Fortune, which grew 6% to 7.2.  CTD’s Jeopardy saw a 2% uptick to a 5.9.  Disney/ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, NBCU’s Deal Or No Deal and Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud were all flat at 2.5, 1.2 and 1.2 respectively.  

NBCU’s The Office was again the highest rated rookie off-net sitcom and this season’s no. 1 newcomer to syndication overall, holding steady at a 2.9 in household and climbing 13% among women 18-34 to a 2.7.  That’s the second highest rating in the demo for any show in syndication.  The animated Family Guy (Twentieth) had a 2.8.  Twentieth’s My Name Is Earl was up 19% to a new season-high 1.9. CTD’s Everybody Hates Chris was unchanged at 1.8.  Disney/ABC’s America’s Funniest Home Videos was flat at 0.7.  Trifecta’s Cold Case Files warmed 33% up to a 0.4.  

Among the veteran off-nets, Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men had a new season high 4.9, after being reprocessed for the previous three weeks. Twentieth’s Family Guy was up 9% to a new season-high 3.6. Warner Bros.’ George Lopez was flat at 2.6. CTD’s Everybody Loves Raymond rose 4% to 2.6, tying Lopez. Sony’s Seinfeld slipped 4% to a 2.5.  Twentieth’s King of the Hill gained 5% to 2.2.  Warner Bros.’ Friends was unchanged at 2.1. House of Payne jumped 19% to 1.9. Sony’s King of Queens was up 6% to 1.7.