Talkers Strong As Sweeps Starts

Oprah, Dr. Phil Lead the Pack.

Five talk shows were up for the week ending April 27, which included the first four days of the May sweep, making talk the only genre to see so much improvement.

CBS’ The Oprah Winfrey Show, coming off its season low in the prior week, was up 9% to a 5.0. CBS’ Dr. Phil scored his strongest ratings since the February sweep, jumping 10% to a 4.6. CBS’ Rachael Ray gained 6% to a 1.9, getting a 17% daily boost with an episode featuring King of Queens’ Leah Remini that kicked off the sweep on April 24 with a 2.1. NBC Universal’s Maury came back from its prior-week season low to climb 19% to a 1.9, tying Rachael. And Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks improved 10% to a 1.1, with a show on women who are proud of their bodies even though they are overweight, gaining 20% to a 1.2 on April 25, the sweep’s second day.

As for the rest of the talkers, Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis and Kelly in third place continued to languish at its season low 2.6, unchanged for the week. In fourth place, Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres also was flat at a 2.1. CBS’ Montel Williams, NBC U’s Jerry Springer, NBC U’s Martha Stewart and NBC U’s rookie Steve Wilkos all were unchanged at 1.3, 1.1, 0.9 and 0.9, respectively. Twentieth’s The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, which has been the top-rated daytime newcomer, dipped 10% to a 0.9.

The access magazines were solid with no show declining for the week. CBS’ Entertainment Tonight and CBS’ Inside Edition were the only two to grow, with ET up 2% to a 4.3 and Inside Edition up 3% to a 3.0. CBS’ The Insider, NBC U’s Access Hollywood and Warner Bros.’ rookie leader, TMZ, tied for third, with all three shows steady at a 2.1. Warner Bros.’ Extra was flat at a 1.7.

CBS’ Judge Judy continued to rule court with a 4.7, unchanged for the week but up 4% for the year, continuing to be the only first-run strip in syndication to show year-to-year improvement.

CBS’ Judge Joe Brown, in second place, scored its highest ratings in five weeks, hitting a 2.5, up 4% for the week. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court, which had dropped to a season low the prior week, came back 5% to a 2.3. On the other hand, Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis dropped to a new season low, dropping 11% to a 1.7 and tying Twentieth’s Divorce Court, which was flat. Twentieth’s Judge Alex slipped 6% to a 1.6. Sony’s Judge Hatchett and Twentieth’s Cristina’s Court each were flat at a 1.2. Sony’s Judge Maria Lopez was flat at a 0.9, while Sony’s rookie, Judge David Young, slid 11% to a 0.8. Radar Entertainment’s Jury Duty trailed, unchanged at a 0.3.

CBS’ Wheel of Fortune remained the top-rated game and overall syndicated show, inching up 1% to a 7.2. CBS’ Jeopardy! dipped 2% to a 5.9. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire slipped 4% to tie the show’s season-low 2.7. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud eased 6% to a 1.7. Program Partners’ newcomer, Crosswords, was flat at a 0.8. Twentieth’s rookie, Temptation, fell 20% to a 0.4.

Warner Bros.’ rookie, Two and a Half Men, continued to lead the off-net sitcoms, unchanged at a 5.0, followed by Twentieth’s Family Guy, flat a 4.2. Sony’s Seinfeld fell 5% to a 3.7. CBS’ Everybody Loves Raymond remained at its season low 3.4 for a second straight week. Warner Bros.’ George Lopez climbed 3% to a 3.2. Sony’s King of Queens dropped 10% to 2.6, tying Warner Bros.’ Friends, down 4%.