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.

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.