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Syndication Ratings: 'Dr. Phil' Up 20%

In a week of decreased ratings (ending Feb. 15) for daytime syndication, Dr. Phil was the only show in that went up, thanks in part to his Feb. 11 show which featured Nadya Sulema—the so-called “Octomom.”  The show sent ratings soaring 20% to a 4.2.  On the week, CTD’s Dr. Phil matched a season-high 3.7, jumped 6% from the previous week, and came within 0.8 of catching up to first-place Oprah.

Winfrey’s show was still first at 4.5 but dropped 8% from the week before. The 0.8-point difference between Phil and CBS Television Distribution’s Oprah is the closest the two shows have been since mid-December of 2008.

Besides Dr. Phil, the only other strip to improve week-to-week was CTD’s The Insider, which gained 5% to a 2.0 after seeing a 16% jump to a 2.2 on both Feb. 9 and 10 when it programmed coverage of the Grammy Awards.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis and Kelly was in third place, decreasing 7% to a 2.6. Next was Warner Bros.’ Ellen Degeneres who was flat with a 2.3, followed by NBCU’s Maury in fifth pulling a 1.8, dropping 5%. CTD’s Rachael Ray earned a 1.7, dipping 6% from last week. NBCU’s Jerry Springer was unchanged at 1.2. Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks, who had a strong week last week, shot back down 17% to a 1.0 and into a tie with NBC’s Steve Wilkos which fell 9%.  Rounding out the list, Twentieth’s the Morning Show with Mike and Juliet decreased 10% to a 0.9 and NBC’s Martha Stewart remained unchanged at a 0.7.

The week saw a number of show pre-empted for news coverage of President Obama’s speech on Feb. 9 as well as coverage of the plane crash in Buffalo, NY on the 13th. The nation’s largest media market, New York, also had some shows pre-empted for coverage of ceremonies honoring the crew of Flight 1549 which landed in the Hudson River in January. The news coverage may have caused some of the lower numbers among syndicated shows for the week.

Among the magazines, CTD’s Entertainment Tonight remained on top with a 4.5, dipping 2%. CTD’s Inside Edition was down 3% to a 3.1; Warner Bros.’ TMZ and NBCU’s Access Hollywood were each flat at a 2.3 and 2.2, respectively.  Extra dropped 11% to a 1.7.  

In the court shows, CTD’s Judge Judy dipped 2% to a 4.6 but still was the highest-rated strip in daytime beating Oprah for the first time since the week ending Dec. 28 of last year. Second place in the court shows was CTD’s Judge Joe Brown at a 2.2, down 8%. Judge Judy’s more than 2-to-1 margin over the next highest show is the biggest gap by far in any category. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court struggled, hitting a new season low 1.9, dropping 14%. In fourth place was tie between Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis and Twentieth’s Judge Alex, each losing 6% to a 1.6.  At the back of the court shows were Twentieth’s Divorce Court,Christina’s Court (Twentieth), and Sony’s Judge David Young, which were all unchanged at 1.4, 1.1, and 0.8 respectively.

In the freshman race, CTD’s The Doctors remains a force. It was the top-rated newcomer for the third consecutive week, remaining just ahead of NBCU’s Deal or No Deal which lead rookies for most of the season. Doctors was unchanged at 1.9. Deal or No Deal was right behind, flat at 1.8.  At third place was Warner Bros.’ Bonnie Hunt, down 10% to a 0.9 putting it in a tie with Sony’s Judge Karen which was unchanged at 0.9. Further back, Debmar-Mercury’s Trivial Pursuit remained stuck at a 0.6 for the third straight week. Program Partner’s Family Court trailed with a 0.5, the fourth straight week it’s been at that number.  

All programs in the game show category were lower than the week before, though not dramatically. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune was on top but lost 6% to a 7.4. CTD’s Jeopardy fell 5% to a 6.2. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire matched its season-low 2.4 and slipped 8%. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud dropped 7% to a 1.4.  

In comedy, Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men lead the group although it declined 9% to a 5.3. Twentieth’s Family Guy was down 5% to a 4.1. Sony’s Seinfeld slipped three percent to a 3.6. CTD’s Everybody Loves Raymond dropped 3% to a 3.3. Warner Bros.’ George Lopez was unchanged at a 2.9. Sony’s King of Queens fell 7% to a 2.7 and landed in a tie with Twentieth’s King of the Hill which was up 4% to a 2.7.  Warner Bros.’ Friends was down 4% to a 2.6.