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Syndication Ratings: Daytime Strips Hit by Presidential Speech

Politics continued to interrupt regular TV programming in the week ending Nov. 20, which was nearly the end of the November sweep.

On Monday, Nov. 14, President Obama gave a lengthy press conference in advance of his final international tour as president that preempted many daytime syndicated shows.

CBS Television Distribution’s talk leader Dr. Phil remained on top with a 3.6 live plus same day average household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, even though the show’s day-to-day average dropped by a full ratings point to a 2.8 on Monday, Nov. 14, due to preemptions. That was up 3% for the week and 6% compared to the same week last year. Phil also led talk among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54 at a 1.6.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres remained in a tight race for second, with Ellen unchanged in households at a 2.5 despite being downgraded in four NBC owned markets, including New York and Los Angeles. Ellen managed to top Live with Kelly, which dipped 4% to a 2.4, for the first time since the week ended Dec. 21, 2014.

Only seven-tenths of a ratings point separated the remaining 11 talk shows. NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey, which will launch as a new show from Los Angeles next fall, slid 6% to a 1.6 to tie NBCU’s Maury, which improved 7%. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams was unchanged at a 1.5. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos also held steady at a 1.4, tying CTD’s Rachael Ray, which rose 8%. NBCU’s Jerry Springer stayed at a 1.3, while Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz dropped 8% to a 1.2. 

NBCU’s rookie Harry, which is moving to 2 p.m. time periods in four top markets, took a hit in its 10th week, with preemptions due to Obama’s speech in New York, Dallas, Phoenix and other large markets. That resulted in an 8% household decline to a 1.1. 

Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Dailywith Chris Hansen and CTD’s The Doctors held steady for the week at a 1.0 and 0.9, respectively, although Crime Watch Daily was the only other talk show besides Dr. Phil to improve for the year, gaining 11%. Warner Bros.’ The Real rallied 13% to a 0.9 to tie CTD’s The Doctors.

CTD’s court leader Judge Judy ruled all of syndication for the 16th straight week with a 7.2, up 1% from the prior week. 

CTD’s Hot Bench gained 4% to a 2.5, matching its season high and tying Ellen.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was flat at a 1.7. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis moved up 8% to a new season-high 1.4. Twentieth’s Divorce Court was unchanged at a 1.0 for the eighth straight week. Trifecta’s Judge Faith remained at a 0.8 for a fourth consecutive session.

Access was unaffected by news preemptions, and with shorter days comes higher ratings.

All of the game shows notched new season highs. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud picked up 3% to a 7.0. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune spelled a 5% increase to a 6.4. CTD’s Jeopardy! answered with a 3% advance to a 6.0. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which aired a special “Whiz Kids Week,” earned a 6% gain to a 1.7, while Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game earned 8% to a 1.4. 

Meanwhile, Disney-ABC’s viral video show, RightThisMinute, stood pat at a 1.5.

The top-tier magazines all were steady to higher. 

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight led the field with a 6% spike to a 3.4. CTD’s Inside Edition and Warner Bros.’ TMZ were on par with their prior frames with a 3.0 and 1.6, respectively. NBCU’s Access Hollywood added 7% to a 1.5, although the show was still down 21% from last year at this time, the most of any magazine. Warner Bros.’ Extra held firm at a 1.3. CTD’s The Insider scored the biggest gain of any strip in syndication, adding 20% for the week to a 1.2, thanks in part to extensive coverage of Fox News’ Megyn Kelly talking on camera for the first time about being sexually harassed at Fox News.

Twentieth’s Dish Nation stayed at a 0.8 for the third straight week, while Trifecta’s CelebrityPage turned in its usual 0.3 for the 34th week in a row.

Like the games, many of the off-net sitcoms hit new season highs. Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory advanced 9% to a new season-high 5.8. Twentieth’s Modern Family improved 11% to a new season-high 3.0. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men motored ahead 4% to a new season-high 2.5. Twentieth’s Family Guy grew 5% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly gained 6% to a 1.9. Twentieth’s newcomer Last Man Standing was flat at a 1.8. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls grew 6% to a 1.8. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother and The Cleveland Show both gained 8% to a 1.4. SPT’s Seinfeld and Twentieth’s King of the Hill both climbed 8% to a 1.3.

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.