Syndication Ratings: Big Debuts For ‘Dr. Oz,’ ‘Oprah’

Oprah spin-off Dr. Oz (Sony) got its first national rating, averaging a 2.3 for its premiere week—the highest syndication debut for any show since Rachael Ray in the 2006-07 season. The talk queen herself, Oprah, opened her new season with a 39 % leap to a 6.1, its highest rating in a year and a half for the week ending Sept. 20.

CTD’s Dr. Phil slipped 6% to 2.5 after his live season premiere was rained out. Disney/ABC’s Live With Regis and Kelly was flat at 2.3.  Warner Bros.’ Ellen was up 5% to 2.1. NBCU’s Maury jumped 13% to 1.8. CBS Television Distribution (CTD’s) The Doctors dipped 6% to 1.7, but was still up 31% from last year at this time. CTD’s Rachael Ray rose 7% to 1.6. NBCU’s Jerry Springer gained 9% to 1.2. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos was unchanged at 1.1. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams and Warner Bros.’ Bonnie Hunt were flat at 1.0 and 0.7 respectively. NBCU’s Martha Stewart was off 17% to 0.5.  

NBCU’s The Office was the highest rated of the four off-net sitcoms debuting Sept. 21 with a 1.1/2 metered-market average for its first week. Twentieth’s My Name Is Earl had a 0.8/2 for its premiere week. CTD’s Everybody Hates Chris tallied a 0.5/1. The off-cable Trifecta’s Cold Case Files came in with a 0.4/1. The biggest first-run show to debut last week was Twentieth’s Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader, which scored a 0.9/2 compared to a 0.6/2 for Litton’s Street Court, which also began Sept. 21. Wendy Williams scored a 0.8/3. Her show premiered July 13. Dr. Oz, which launched Sept. 14, averaged a 1.6/5.  

Back in the nationals, top jurist CTD’s Judge Judy was the only court show to improve from the week before, growing 5% to a 3.9, which was more than double the rating of any other show in the category.  CTD’s Judge Joe Brown was down 10% to 1.9.  Warner Bros.’ People’s Court slipped 5% to 1.8.  Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis lost 6% to 1.6.  Twentieth’s Divorce Court lost 7% to 1.3.  Twentieth’s Judge Alex also lost 7% to a.1.3  Warner Bros.’ Judge Jeanine Pirro declined 10% to 0.9 in its second week of syndication after a year on the CW network.

Magazine show ratings rose in the week ending Sept. 20, with viewer interest in Patrick Swayze’s death after a battle with pancreatic cancer.   The newsmagazines also buzzed about Kayne West’s interruption of Taylor Swift as she accepted an award at MTV’s Video Music Awards.  The strong showings came despite a PUT level decline of more than 4 million viewers from the week before and preemptions in some markets for U.S. Open tennis coverage.  

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight led the field with an 11% increase to a 4.0, its highest rating since July.  ET Weekend surged 25% to a 2.0, its best rating in 11 weeks.  CTD’s Inside Edition jumped 19% to a 3.2.  Warner Bros.’ TMZ and NBCU’s Access Hollywood each grew 11% to 2.1.  Warner Bros.’ Extra was up 13% to 1.7.  CTD’s The Insider was unchanged at 1.6, although its Insider Weekend ballooned 30% to a 1.3.  

Games were mixed.  CTD’s Wheel of Fortune was up 9% to 6.0.  CTD’s Jeopardy gained 11% to 4.9.  Disney/ABC’s Who Wants To Be a Millionaire and NBCU’s Deal Or No Deal were flat at 2.2 and 1.2 respectively.  Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud faded 15% to 1.1.  

Off-net sitcoms were mostly flat to done.  Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men sank 7% to 4.1.  Twentieth’s Family Guy dropped 5% to 3.5.  Sony’s Seinfeld was down 3% to 3.0.  CTD’s Everybody Loves Raymond was up 7% to 2.9.  Warner Bros.’ George Lopez was unchanged at a 2.5.  Twentieth’s King of the Hill lost 4% to a 2.3, tying Sony’s King of Queens and Warner Bros.’ Friends, which were both flat.  Debmar-Mercury’s House of Payne was up 11% to 2.0 while CBS’ Frasier fell 11% to 1.6.