Syndie Shows on Holiday High


Christmas came right on time for some syndie shows, which hit new season highs for the week ending Dec. 26.

Five talk shows celebrated the holidays with season-best performances--Buena Vista’s Live with Regis and Kelly, NBC Universal’s Maury, Paramount’s Montel Williams, NBC Universal’s Jane Pauley and Sony’s Life & Style.

Regis and Kelly, the third-highest-rated talker, jumped 11% from the week before to a 4.0 and was one of the few shows to score well on Christmas Eve. In fact, the show averaged a 4.5, its best single-day rating of the season. Regis and Kelly hosted a Christmas Eve pajama party with a winter wonderland set, ice-skating extravaganza and a bevy of young performers. In the past two weeks, the show's ratings have risen 18%.

Maury was up 7% to a 3.2 and up 14% over the past two weeks.

Montel, despite airing a couple of repeats, was up 4% for the week to a 2.6 and up 13% in the past two weeks, hitting a new daily high 3.1 on Dec 22. Among the rookies, Jane Pauley was up 21% to a 1.7.

Meanwhile, King World’s top gabber Oprah was unchanged at a 6.6, but up 14% compared to the same week last year. King World’s Dr. Phil, in second place, declined for the fourth week in a row, down 8% to a new season low of 4.7. Compared to this week last year, though, the show is up 15%. Both Oprah and Phil were mostly in repeats over the holidays

Compared to last year at this time, the only talkers to show gains of more than 20% were Warner Bros.’ The Ellen DeGeneres Show, up 38% to a 2.2, and NBC Universal’s Starting Over was up 22% to a 1.1. Both shows were in repeats for the week.

Elsewhere in daytime, four court shows also notched new season highs, led by Paramount’s Judge Judy, which has been the number-one court for more than eight years.

Judy was up 2% to a 5.3 and up 10% from last year. Also setting new personal bests were Twentieth’s Divorce Court at a 3.0, up 11% week to week and year to year, and Twentieth’s Texas Justice, up 16% on the week and unchanged from last year. Sony’s Judge Hatchett was up 18% for the week and even with last year. The only court show with a 20% improvement over last year was Warner Bros.’ Judge Greg Mathis at a 2.4.

In first-run rookies, Paramount’s The Insider was down 4% to a 2.5, but was the highest-rated newcomer for the 15th straight week. In third place, following Jane, Buena Vista’s Tony Danza climbed 8% to a 1.4. Twentieth’s Ambush Makeover spiked 33% to a 1.2, Warner Bros.’ The Larry Elder Show rose 11% to a 1.0, and Sony’s Pat Croce: Moving In jumped 14% to a 0.8.

By comparison, none of the off-net rookies were up. Twentieth’s Malcolm in the Middle was down 6% to a 3.3. NBC Universal’s Fear Factor and Twentieth’s Yes Dear were both unchanged at 1.9, while Paramount’s Girlfriends was down 6% to a 1.6. King World’s weekly CSI was down 2% to a still-strong 5.2.

In access, King World’s Jeopardy!, in its third week since star contestant Ken Jennings lost, slipped 5% to a 7.2, bringing its total decline over the past three weeks to 22%. The show was still up 16% over last year at this time.