Slackers, Moochers Help Boost 'Dr. Phil'

Self-proclaimed slacker wives and mooching moms helped lift CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil 40% over the previous week, which contained depressed Fourth of July viewing levels.

The series posted the biggest week-to-week gain of any first-run syndicated strip this season with a 4.2 rating, benefiting from all-original episodes, including one about the slackers and moochers that popped 50% from the same day the previous week. But despite the massive gain, Dr. Phil was off 11% compared to the year-ago week.

In fact, the only first-run strip to gain for the year was Warner Bros.’ Ellen, which improved 6% to 1.8, a 20% increase from the prior week.

Two other talk shows rose during a week interrupted by a presidential press conference July 12:  CTD’s Oprah leapt 26% to 4.8 (down 9% versus last year) and Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis & Kelly climbed 4% to 2.9 (slipping 9% from a year ago).

Magazines, profiting from the celebrity wedding of Desperate Housewives’ Eva Longoria to the San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker, all looked better, holding up the best of any first-run genre.

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight, marking its 11th full year as the top-rated magazine (it lost last time during the week ended July 14, 1996, by a tenth of a point to Inside Edition), jumped 8% to 4.3, down 2% for the year.

CTD’s Edition (3.1) was up 15% for week and declined 3% for the year; the distributor’s The Insider  (2.2) improved 10% but dropped 8% from last year; NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood (2.2) rose 16% but lost 4% for the year; and Warner Bros.’ Extra 1.8 gained 13% while losing 10% from the same week in 2006.

Four of the top-five court shows improved by single percentage digits over the previous week, while all the game shows were up for the week.