Syndication Ratings: Talkers Keep Up the Chatter

Only ‘Tyra’ and ‘Live With Regis and Kelly’ lose ground

Talk shows remained hot in the week ending Aug. 23 even though PUT levels were down approximately 500,000 viewers from the previous week. Only two talkers lost ground, Disney/ABC’s Live With Regis and Kelly, which slipped 8% to 2.3, and Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks, which fell 10% to 0.9.  

Four strips were up. CBS Television Distribution’s Oprah inched up 3% to 3.5. CTD’s Dr. Phil rose 4% to 2.5 with an encore telecast of his show on teenage motherhood sending ratings up 17% on Aug. 17.  Warner Bros.’ Ellen Degeneres climbed 7% to 1.5. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos surged 20% to 1.2.  NBCU’s Maury, CTD’s Rachael Ray, NBCU’s Jerry Springer and Martha Stewart (NBCU) all held their ground at 1.8, 1.5, 1.2, and 0.6 respectively.

Among the gavelers, Twentieth’s Divorce Court and Judge Alex (Twentieth) had the only increases, with both shows jumping 8% to a 1.3 and 1.4, respectively.  Courtroom leader, CTD’s Judge Judy was stable at a 3.8 and beat Oprah for a ninth straight week to take the top spot on the daytime list.  CTD’s Judge Joe Brown, Warner Bros.’ People’s Court, Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis, Twentieth’s Christina’s Court and Sony’s Judge David Young were all unchanged at 2.1, 1.7, 1.5, 0.8, and 0.7, respectively.  

In rookie action, CTD’s The Doctors continued to set the pace, gaining 6% to 1.7 after getting a 13% boost to 1.8 for an Aug. 17 repeat of its “Dangerous New Drugs” show. NBCU’s Deal or No Deal made it a race, holding steady at 1.4. Sony’s Judge Karen climbed 13% to 0.9.  Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams remained at 0.9 for a third consecutive week.  Warner Bros.’ Bonnie Hunt tumbled 14% to 0.6. Debmar-Mercury’s Trivial Pursuit and Program Partners’ Family Court trailed with each show logging an unchanged 0.5.  

In the competition between the syndie strips launched in July, Twentieth’s Wedlock or Deadlock finished its six-week tryout in the week ending Aug. 30 with an overall 1.0/3 average in seven Nielsen chapels. By comparison, rival Wendy Williams had a 0.9/3 weighted metered market average for the same six-week period.  

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight won the magazine field despite a 3% dip to 3.6. CTD’s Inside Edition also fell 3% to 2.8.  Warner Bros.’ TMZ lost 5% to 1.8, landing in a tie with NBCU’s Access Hollywood, which was flat at 1.8. CTD’s The Insider was down 6% to 1.6. Warner Bros.’ Extra was unchanged at 1.5.  

Game shows were slightly higher than the week before. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune was up 9% to 6.0. Jeopardy (CTD) rebounded 7% from last week’s season-low to a 4.8. Disney/ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was flat at 2.3.  Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was up 8% to 1.4.  

Off-net sitcoms were mixed. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men was down 2% to 4.1. Twentieth’s Family Guy gained 9% to 3.6. Warner Bros.’ George Lopez lost 3% to 3.1. Sony’s Seinfeld was unchanged at 3.0. CTD’s Everybody Loves Raymond dropped 3% to 2.8. Twentieth’s King of the Hill declined 4% to 2.4, landing in a tie with Sony’s King of Queens, which was up 9% to 2.4.