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Syndication Ratings: 'Dr. Oz' Up in Down Week

Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz was the only daytime talk show to improve in the week ended December 8, the first week post-November sweep, hitting a new season-high 2.3 live plus same day household average, according to Nielsen Media Research.

And Twentieth’s Modern Family added 16% to hit a new series-high 5.1, the first time the show has crossed the 5.0 ratings threshold this season.

The two shows bucked the trend during a slow week in which levels of people using television plummeted, dropping 17% — more than 12 million viewers — from the week of Thanksgiving. As a result, most syndicated shows were flat to down.

The entertainment magazines held up, however, after the week started with the tragic death of Fast and Furious star Paul Walker in a fiery car crash and ended with the passing of anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela. 

CBS Television Distribution’s Entertainment Tonight hit a 3.9, equaling its season high and growing 5% for the week and 3% for the year. NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood jumped 19%, the biggest weekly gain of any top-tier magazine, to match its season-high 1.9, a 6% year-to-year gain. That performance tied Warner Bros.’ TMZ, which added 12% for the week and 6% for the year. Warner Bros.’ Extra held at its season-high 1.7, and improved 13% from last year, the largest year to year advance of any magazine. CTD’s omg! Insider rose 15% to a 1.5, steady year to year. CTD’s Inside Edition, a news/entertainment hybrid, was the only one of the ten magazine shows to decline, sliding 6% for the week and 3% from last year to a 3.0.

Among the newer magazines, MGM’s RightThisMinute recovered 22% from the prior week to a 1.1. Twentieth’s sophomore Dish Nation, renewed for season three, regained 11% to a 1.0, while Trifecta’s America Now and rookie OK! TV both were flat at a 0.3 and 0.2.

In daytime, CTD’s Dr. Phil dipped 9% to a 3.1, but remained the talk leader, gaining 3% from last year at this time. Warner Bros.’ Ellen was flat for the week at a 3.0, but up 7% from last year. Disney/ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael was off 6% to a 2.9, but up 16% from one year ago.

Oz strengthened 10% to a new season-high 2.3, its best showing in 31 weeks. Oz also surged 18% among women 25-54, to a new season-high 1.3 in the key demo.

NBCU’s Maury, in fifth place, was flat at a 2.1.

NBCU’s Steve Harvey remained at its series-high 1.9 for a second week, up 46% from last year at this time, the largest year-to-year improvement of any talk show. Disney/ABC’s Katie held steady at a 1.8.

CTD’s Rachael Ray, partly in repeats, receded 12% to a 1.5. NBCU’s Jerry Springer held steady at a 1.3, tying Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which went into repeats and lost 19% from its prior week’s series high. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos eased 14% to a 1.2, tying CTD’s The Doctors, which declined 8% to a 1.2. NBCU’s Trisha was flat at a 0.5, but gained 25% from last year at this time. Meredith’s The Better Show trailed, dropping 50% from a 0.2 to a 0.1.

Among the rookie first-run shows, SPT’s Queen Latifah, in repeats on four of the week’s five days, dropped 9% to a 1.0. Warner Bros.’ Bethenny held steady at a 0.9 in households and tied Latifah in the key women 25-54 demo. Further back, CTD’s The Test was marked down 14% to a 0.6. In late night, CTD’s Arsenio Hall rebounded 17% to a 0.7.

In court, CTD’s Judge Judy declined 5% from the prior session to a 7.2, but grew 7% from last year at this time, tying CTD’s Wheel of Fortune to top all syndicated programs. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court recovered 13% to a 1.8, after a steep drop in the previous week. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis was flat at a 1.5, tying Twentieth’s Judge Alex and Divorce Court, both of which sagged 6% to a 1.5. Further back, MGM’s rookie Paternity Court tumbled 10% to a 0.9.

CTD’s game-show leader, Wheel of Fortune, slowed down 1% from the prior week to a 7.2. CTD’s Jeopardy! rebounded 7% to a 6.5. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud gained 14% to a 5.0. Disney/ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire backtracked 5% from its season high to a 2.1.

Off-net sitcoms bounced back for the week after seeing sharp sweep-to-sweep declines. Besides Modern Family, the other rookie off-net sitcoms were mostly up. Twentieth’s animated The Cleveland Show added 5% to a 2.0, while Warner Bros.’ The Middle rose 7% to a 1.5. SPT’s Community, which will return to primetime on NBC next month, remained steady at a 0.4.

Among the vets, Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory rebounded 19% for the week to a 6.4. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men perked up 11% to a 3.9. Twentieth’s Family Guy advanced 7% to a 3.0. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother moved 5% higher to a 2.2. Warner Bros.’ Friends and SPT’s Seinfeld both were flat at 1.8s, while Twentieth’s King of the Hill stood pat at a 1.7.