Syndication Ratings: 'Dr. Oz,' 'Dr. Phil,' 'Ellen,' 'Maury,' and 'Rachael Ray' Avoid Summer Ratings Doldrums

TV viewership dropped by more than a half-million people in the week ending Aug. 14, and ratings for most syndies fell accordingly, but talkers Rachael Ray, Dr. Phil, Maury, Ellen and Dr. Oz all saw weekly or yearly gains.

Disney-ABC's Live with Regis and Kelly led the category for the fourth consecutive week with a 2.3 live plus same day household ratings average, according to Nielsen Media Research, unchanged for the week and the year. Right behind Regis came CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil, steady at a 2.2 for the week, but adding 16% from last year, marking talk's biggest annual gain. NBCUniversal's Maury, flat for the week and up 5% from last year, tied Phil.

Sony's Dr. Oz added 5% to a 2.0 and was unchanged from last year. CTD's Oprah, which finished its 25-year run in May, remained at its all-time low 1.9 for the third week in a row, dropping 41% from last year at this time. Warner Bros.' Ellen added 7% to a 1.5, even with last year. CTD's The Doctors dipped 7% to a 1.4 and was steady year to year. That tied CTD's Rachael Ray, which improved 8% for both the week and the year. NBCU's Jerry Springer declined 7% for the week and year to tie both Rachael and The Doctors. NBCU's Steve Wilkos was flat at a 1.2, sinking 14% from the prior year. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams, which has been on a bus tour of the country to try to boost ratings, dropped 13% to a series low 0.7, down 30% from last year at this time.

CTD's Judge Judy remained syndication's top show at a 6.4, off 2% from the prior week but still up 52% from last year at this time. In second, CTD's Judge Joe Brown held firm at a 2.6. Warner Bros.' People's Court, Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis and Twentieth's Divorce Court all were unchanged at a 1.9, 1.5 and 1.5, respectively. Twentieth's Judge Alex faded 7% to a 1.4, and Warner Bros.' Judge Jeanine Pirro, nearing the end of its run, trailed at a flat 0.8.

Warner Bros.' Extra was the one magazine to gain from the prior week, adding 7% to a 1.5. CTD's Entertainment Tonight continued to lead the pack at a flat 3.3. CTD's Inside Edition softened 7% to a 2.6, while Warner Bros.' TMZ, NBCU's Access Hollywood and CTD's The Insider all held steady at a 1.8, 1.6 and 1.5, respectively.

Among game shows, CTD's Wheel of Fortune upticked 2% to a 6.1. CTD's Jeopardy! fell 2% to a 5.0. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud dropped 4% to a 2.5. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire and Twentieth's canceled Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader each were unchanged at a 2.3 and a 1.0, respectively.

CTD's Swift Justice, which soon is switching judges to Jackie Glass, remained the top rookie, matching the previous week's 1.5. Twentieth's already-canceled Don't Forget the Lyrics lost 11% to a 0.8, tying Sony's Nate Berkus, which was flat. Litton's Judge Karen's Court, also not to return next season, and Entertainment Studio's America's Court with Judge Ross both were unchanged at a 0.7 and 0.4, respectively.

Twentieth's Dish Nation, an entertainment news program featuring radio deejays that select Fox-owned stations are testing over a six-week period, is averaging a 0.9 rating/2 share in the metered markets for its first four weeks, down 31% from its 1.3/3 lead-in and down 50% from its 1.8 rating/4 year-ago time-period average.

Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men led the off-net sitcoms with a 6.0, dipping 2% from the prior week. Twentieth's Family Guy slipped 4% to a 4.3. Disney-ABC's My Wife and Kids added 7% to a 3.1. Sony's Seinfeld gained 4% to a 2.7. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond was unchanged at a 2.6. NBCU's The Office jumped 14% to a 2.4. Twentieth's King of the Hill advanced 10% to a 2.3, while Carsey-Werner's That 70s Show rose 10% to a 2.2, tying Warner Bros.' George Lopez, which weakened 15% to a 2.2. Warner Bros.' Friends climbed 5% to a 2.0.

Finally, Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother continued to lead the new off-net and off-cable strips with a flat 2.7. Warner Bros.' The New Adventures of Old Christine improved 7% to a 1.5, while Debmar-Mercury's Meet the Browns eroded 8% to a 1.2.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for more than 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for The Global Entertainment Marketing Academy of Arts & Sciences (G.E.M.A.). 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.