Syndication Ratings: 'Dr. Phil' Leads Talk for 37th Straight Week as Syndies Slow for Summer

CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil remained the talk leader for the 37th consecutive frame in the week ended May 21. The week marked the third full week of the May sweep, which ran from April 27 to May 24, with syndicated shows staying in a narrow ratings range amid seasonally low viewing levels.

Phil dipped 3% for the week but added 3% for the year to a 3.2 and was the only talk show to show an annual gain. Phil also led among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54 at a 1.4.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres gained 5% to a second-place 2.2, beating Disney-ABC’s Livewith Kelly and Ryan, which declined 5% for the week and 30% for the year to a 2.1 in new host Ryan Seacrest’s third week. The year-ago week was the show’s first week without former co-host Michael Strahan, when it featured such guest co-hosts as ABC’s late-night host Jimmy Kimmel and news anchor David Muir.

Among women 25-54, Ellen also took second at a 1.0, while Live was in third at a 1.0.

Back in households, NBCUniversal’s Maury came in fourth with a 6% slide for the week to a 1.5. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams and NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey tied for fifth at a 1.4 with Wendy Williams unchanged and Steve Harvey skidding 7% for the week and 22% for the year. Steve Harvey, who has been in the news lately with the leak of a terse memo to his talk-show staff and a lawsuit filed by his ex-wife, is moving to Los Angeles and relaunching his show next year with a new executive producer and production company.

NBCU’s conflict talkers Steve Wilkos was flat at a 1.3, while Jerry Springer lost 8% to a 1.2.

The next six shows were separated by only three-tenths of a ratings point. CTD’s Rachael Ray and Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz tied at series-lows 1.1, with both shows flat for the week and down 21% from last year.

NBCU’s freshman Harry, fronted by Harry Connick Jr., held firm at a 0.9, tying Warner Bros.’ sophomore Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen. CTD’s The Doctors got a 14% boost to a 0.8, tying Warner Bros.’ The Real, which was flat.

CTD’s Judge Judy led all of syndication for the eighth week in a row with a steady 6.7. CTD’s Hot Bench jumped 10% to a 2.3 and ranked as the third-highest rated show in daytime, behind just Phil and Judy.

The rest of the court shows were flat to down. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis stayed at 1.6 and 1.2, respectively. Twentieth’s Divorce Court dropped 10% to a 0.9. Trifecta’s Judge Faith faded 13% to a 0.7.

Debmar-Mercury's FamilyFeud dipped 2% to a 6.1 but controlled the category for the 56th straight session. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune inched up 2% to a 5.8. CTD’s Jeopardy! was flat at a 5.6. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire earned a 7% hike to a 1.6. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game, which is preparing to end its run, softened 8% to a new season-low 1.1, down 15% from last year at this time.

Elsewhere, Disney-ABC’s viral video show RightThisMinute gained 8% to a 1.4 after five straight weeks at its season-low 1.3.

All of the magazines were flat. CTD’s Entertainment Tonight, CTD’s Inside Edition, Warner Bros.’ TMZ, NBCU’s Access Hollywood, Warner Bros.’ Extra, CTD’s The Insider, Twentieth’s Dish Nation and Trifecta’s Celebrity Page all stayed at a 2.9, 2.6, 1.5, 1.3, 1.1, 1.0, 0.7 and 0.3, respectively.

Warner Bros.’ off-net sitcom leader The Big Bang Theory cooled off 4% to a 4.7. Twentieth’s Modern Family fell 4% to a 2.6. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men remained at a 2.2. Twentieth’s Family Guy, Twentieth’s newcomer Last Man Standing, Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly, and Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls all were unchanged at a 1.9, 1.6, 1.6, and 1.4, respectively. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show slid 8% to a 1.2. SPT’s Seinfeld stayed at its series low 1.2 for the ninth straight week, shrinking 37% from last year at this time. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother remained at its series low 1.1 for a third week, tying Twentieth’s King of the Hill, which was flat.

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.