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Syndication Ratings: 'Dr Phil' Leads Talk as Summer Gets Off to Slow Start

In a slow post-sweeps, pre-summer week, CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil managed to stay atop the talkers, even though the show slipped 13% to a 2.8 live plus same day household rating average, according to Nielsen Media Research.

That was the 20th time that Phil led the category, including two ties with Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael. Live was a close second, dropping 7% to a 2.7. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, however, Live led with a level 1.5, the first time Live has led the demo since April 12.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres sagged 15% to a third-place 2.2 in households and declined 12% from the same week last year. NBCUniversal’s Maury unchanged at a 1.9, while NBCU’s Steve Harvey, entirely in reruns and frequently preempted by French Open tennis, dropped to a new season low 1.5, although that was still even with last year.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams also in all repeats all week, dropped the most of any talker, tumbling 19% to a 1.3, equaling its season low and landing in a five-way tie for sixth place with CTD’s Rachael Ray, NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, NBCU’s Jerry Springer and Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz.

Rachael Ray was one of only two talk shows on the upswing for the week, gaining 8% for both the week and the year, despite serving up a full week of reruns. The other gainer was Dr. Oz, which bounced 8% off a six-year low, set the prior week. Oz was mostly in repeats. Year to year, Oz dropped 24%, the most of any talker. Wilkos and Springer both were stable.

NBCU’s newcomer Meredith Vieira was unchanged at a 1.0, tying Warner Bros.’ fellow rookie The Real, which retreated 9%. CTD’s The Doctors yielded 10% to a 0.9 with a week of repeats.

In access, the top game shows fought for pole position. CTD’s Jeopardy! tied CTD’s Wheel of Fortune for the lead at a 6.1, with Jeopardy! down 3% and Wheel down 5%, and Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud only one-tenth of a point behind at a steady 6.0. Year to year,however, Feud improved 28%, the biggest jump of any first-run strip, while Wheel was flat and Jeopardy! was off 5%.

Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire remained at its serie- low 1.6 for the sixth straight week, depreciating 16% from last year. Debmar-Mercury’s newcomer Celebrity Name Game was steady at a 1.4 for the third week in a row.

Meanwhile, MGM’s video variety show RightThisMinute slipped 7% to a new season- low 1.3.

Elsewhere in access, CTD’s Entertainment Tonight and sister show Inside Edition tied for the third week in a row with both strips slipping 6% to a 2.9. Warner Bros.’ TMZ was flat at a 1.8. NBCU’s Access Hollywood receded 12% to a 1.5. Warner Bros.’ Extra dipped 7% to a 1.3. CTD’s The Insider backtracked 8% to a 1.2. Twentieth’s Dish Nation and Trifecta’s OK! TV both were flat at a 1.0 and 0.2, respectively.

Syndication’s highest rated strip, CTD’s Judge Judy, stayed on top with a mix of repeats and originals, down 2% to a 6.5. Most of the other courts also held up. CTD’s Hot Bench remained at a 2.0, despite being in reruns all week. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court climbed 6% to a 1.9. Twentieth’s Divorce Court descended 7% to a 1.4. Twentieth’s Judge Mathis and MGM’s Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court each were flat at a 1.3 and 1.2, respectively. Trifecta’s rookie Judge Faith strengthened 13% to a 0.9.

Off-net sitcoms were mostly solid. Warner Bros.’ leader The Big Bang Theory was unchanged at a 5.3. Twentieth’s Modern Family rebounded 9% to a 3.5. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved 4% lower to a 2.7, matching its series low. Twentieth’s Family Guy stayed at a 2.5. Warner Bros.’ freshman Mike and Molly rose 5% to a 2.3, tying Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother, which advanced 10%. SPT’s Seinfeld added 5% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.’ The Middle was flat at a 1.7, while Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show and King of the Hill each climbed 7% to a 1.6 and 1.5, respectively.

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.