Syndication Ratings: Conflict Talkers Climb at Sweep's Mid-Point

Four talk shows — NBCUniversal’s trio of conflict talkers, Maury, Jerry Springer and Trisha, as well as CBS Television Distribution’s Rachael Ray — hit new season highs in the week ending Nov. 17, at the mid-point of the November sweep.

CTD’s talk leader Dr. Phil — which scored its best ratings in more than two years in the prior week with the show’s exclusive two-part interview with Cleveland kidnapping survivor Michelle Knight — dropped back 11% to a 3.2, still the second-highest rated week of the show’s season.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen, which had sole possession of second place in the previous session, dipped 3% to a 2.9, returning it to a tie with Disney/ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael, which added 4% from last week and 12% from last year. 

NBCUniversal’s Maury leaped 15% to a 2.3, that show’s strongest rating since the week of February 25 and has now gained 21% in the past two weeks. 

SPT’s Dr. Oz, in fifth place, held steady at its season-high 2.2.

NBCU’s Steve Harvey also remained at its series-high 1.8, up 29% from last year, the biggest year-to-year increase of any talker. Fellow sophomore, Disney/ABC’s Katie, dipped 6% to a 1.7.  Katie Couric on Monday announced that she would be Yahoo’s new global anchor, starting early next year. A decision on whether she will continue to host her talk show is still pending, depending on whether Couric wants to do it, whether the show's costs can be brought in line with daytime's economic environment, and whether enough time slots exist for it to remain on the air next year outside of the non-ABC Owned markets.

CTD’s Rachael Ray rallied 7% to a 1.5, that show’s best performance in 29 weeks.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams and NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, which marked its 1000th episode on Nov. 22, both remained at their season-highs: 1.4.

Springer spiked 8% to a 1.3, that show’s strongest showing in 11 weeks. CTD’s The Doctors eased 8% to a 1.1. Trisha gained 20% for the week and year, matching its series-high 0.6. Meredith’s The Better Show was flat at a 0.2. 

Among the rookies, SPT’s Queen Latifah grew 10% to a 1.1, while Warner Bros.’ Bethenny finished first among daytime’s key demographic women 25-54 with a 0.7, while remaining at its season-high 0.9 in households.

Further back, CTD’s The Test was flat at a 0.6 in households, while in late-night CTD’s Arsenio Hall held firm at a 0.7 for the sixth week in a row.

Elsewhere, CTD’s Judge Judy continued to defy gravity in its 18th year, setting a new season record for the third week in a row, and advancing 3% to a 7.6, making it syndication’s highest-rated show for the 12th consecutive week.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court also hit a new season-high 1.9, up 6%. Twentieth’s Divorce Court climbed 13% to a new season-high 1.7. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis and Twentieth’s Judge Alex both were unchanged at a 1.6, while MGM’s rookie Paternity Court added 11% to a 1.0.

In access, CTD’s Entertainment Tonight was steady at a 3.9. CTD’s Inside Edition inched up 3% to a 3.1. Warner Bros.’ TMZ was flat at a 1.9, tying NBCU’s Access Hollywood, which improved 6% for the week and year, the most of any top-ranked magazine, to a new season high. 

Warner Bros.’ Extra, which was the top magazine gainer in the previous session, receded 6% to a 1.6, tying CTD’s omg! Insider, which added 7% to a new season high, that show’s highest rating since being reformatted last January.

MGM’s RightThisMinute declined 9% to a 1.0, tying Twentieth’s Dish Nation, which was flat. Trifecta’s America Now remained at a 0.3 for the tenth week in a row and Trifecta’s rookie OK! TV remained at a 0.2 for the 11th straight session.

Among the game shows, CTD’s Wheel of Fortune rolled to a new season-high 7.5, up 4% from the prior week. CTD’s Jeopardy! was flat at a 6.5. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud, with host Steve Harvey, continued to advance, gaining 4% to a new season high 5.2. Disney/ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire, with this  slipped 5% from its season high set in the previous week to a 2.1.

Among the rookie off-net sitcoms, Twentieth’s Modern Family was flat at a 4.6. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show picked up 5% to a 2.1. Warner Bros.’ The Middle recovered 7% to a 1.5, while SPT’s Community, which does not count its cable run in its syndie rating, remained at a 0.4.

Veteran sitcoms continued to be led by Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory, which dropped 3% in the prior week to a 6.3. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men also weakened 3% to a 3.7. Twentieth’s Family Guy, which made headlines in primetime this week by killing off Brian, the family dog, lost 3% to a 2.9. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother faded 5% to a 2.1. Twentieth's King of the Hill and Warner Bros.’ Friends both rose 6% to a 1.9, while SPT’s Seinfeld, in the process of being renewed for a fifth cycle, spiked 13% to a 1.8.

Paige Albiniak

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.