Warner Bros.' Crime Watch Daily had the honor of being the only syndicated strip in first-run to hit a new season high in the week ending Jan. 31, the last full week before the start of February sweeps.
The freshman strip improved 10% to a season-and series-high 1.1 live-plus-same-day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research.
That climb is in clear contrast to its rookie rivals, Disney-ABC’s FABLife, which will make it “one and done” after this season, and NBCUniversal’s Crazy Talk, which also isn’t expected to come back. Both of those shows were flat at a 0.8 and 0.6, respectively. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Crime Watch also led, holding firm at a 0.6. FABLife and Crazy Talk remained at a 0.5 and 0.4, respectively.
Most syndicated shows saved big episodes and originals for the upcoming ratings period. For example, Dr. Phil is filling February with ripped-from-the-headlines episodes that tend to score ratings points.
Episodes airing during sweeps include an exclusive prison interview with Amber Hilberling, serving a 25-year sentence for allegedly pushing her husband to his death from their 25-story apartment building, as well as an exclusive interview with the father of Nicole Lovell, a 13-year-old girl who was recently the victim of an alleged murder plot by two Virginia Tech students.
In the week ended Jan. 31, Phil managed to stay in the talk lead among households, falling 3% for the week to a 3.3, but was beat by Disney-ABC’s Live With Kelly and Michael among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, which averaged a 1.6 to Phil’s 1.5 for the week. Live is bringing on such big guests as John Travolta of FX’s American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson and Deadpool’s Ryan Reynolds in February.
Phil tied Warner Bros.’ Ellen for second in the demo, while Ellen landed in third in households, dropping 4% to a 2.7.
Ellen also scored some big names in February, including President Barack Obama, George Clooney and Rihanna.
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Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.