Syndication Ratings: Talk’s the Talk of Syndies

Most Other First-Run Shows Flat or Down

Talk topped the syndie pack in the week ending Feb. 17, the second full week of February sweeps, with three shows up for the week. All other first-run shows were flat or down with the exception of CBS’ Entertainment Tonight and Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

CBS’ Oprah climbed 5% to a 6.0 to maintain its commanding lead over the field. CBS’ Dr. Phil came in a strong second, gaining 9% to a 5.1, the show’s highest rating since the week ending Nov. 25. Dr. Phil’s 1,000th episode Feb. 11 was up 13% from the prior week to a 5.3.

The Nos. 3 and 4 talkers held steady -- Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis and Kelly at a 3.1 and Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres at a 2.3. CBS’ Rachael Ray, in fifth place, had the biggest increase in the genre, jumping 10% from the prior week to a 2.2, after seeing a 15% jump Feb. 12 for a show featuring actress Mary-Louise Parker.

NBC Universal’s Maury, CBS’ Montel Williams and NBCU’s Jerry Springer were all unchanged at a 2.1, 1.7 and 1.4, respectively. Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks slipped 7% to a 1.3 after hitting a season high the prior week. NBCU’s Martha Stewart was steady at a 1.1.

Twentieth Television’s The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet held firm to tie Martha and remained the highest-rated of the six daytime rookies. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos dropped 9% to a 1.0 after scoring a series high in the prior week.

Besides talk, the off-net sitcoms were the other genre with a good story to tell, with almost all shows gaining for the week. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men hopped 2% to a 5.4. Twentieth’s Family Guy gained 9% to a 4.8, tying its series high. Sony’s Seinfeld and CBS’ Everybody Loves Raymond each rose 5% to a 4.3 and 4.1, respectively. Sony’s King of Queens climbed 3% to a 3.2. Warner Bros.’ George Lopez was flat at a 3.1, while Warner Bros.’ Friends climbed 3% to a 3.0.

The rest of syndication was largely flat or down, and none of the top-tier court shows was up.

CBS’ Judge Judy held steady at a 5.3 for the week and the year, making it the only first-run strip to hold steady compared to last year. Far back but in second place, CBS’ Judge Joe Brown dropped 4% to a 2.7. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court fell 4% to a 2.5. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis, Twentieth’s Divorce Court and Twentieth’s Judge Alex were all unchanged at 2.2, 2.0 and 2.0, respectively. Twentieth’s Cristina’s Court declined 13% to a 1.3, tying Sony’s Judge Hatchett, which fell 7%. Sony’s Judge Maria Lopez and Sony’s rookie, Judge David Young, each were up 11% to a 1.0, while Radar Entertainment’s rookie, Jury Duty, trailed the pack at a 0.3.

In access, CBS’ Entertainment Tonight was the sole gainer among the magazines, rising 2% to a 4.9 after getting a 13% boost Feb. 11 to a 5.4 for next-day coverage of the 50th annual Grammy Awards . CBS’ Inside Edition was unchanged at a 3.6. NBCU’s Access Hollywood earned a 2.5, down 4%. CBS’ The Insider, Warner Bros.’ overall rookie leader, TMZ, and Warner Bros.’ Extra all held steady at 2.4, 2.3 and 2.0, respectively.

Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was the only show to gain on the week, climbing 3% to a 3.1. CBS’ leader, Wheel of Fortune, was flat at a 8.3, followed by CBS’ Jeopardy!, which dropped 4% to a 6.6. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was flat at a 2.0. Among the two rookie games, Program Partners’ Merv Griffin’s Crosswords fell 11% to a 0.8, while Twentieth’s Temptation was flat at a 0.6.