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Syndication Ratings: 'Dr. Phil,' 'Live' Lead Talk Pack

Two weeks before the start of the May sweep, syndies were mostly steady.

CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil and Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael each grew 3% in the week ended April 12 to tie for first among the syndicated talk shows for the second consecutive week at a 3.1 live plus same day household ratings average, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Compared to last year at this time, Phil improved 3% while Live increased 11%. Live led among women 25-54, gaining 7% to a first-place 1.6, while Phil was steady at a 1.5.

In third place, Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres declined 4% for the week to a 2.4. NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey had talk’s biggest weekly gain with a 12% jump to a 1.9, tying NBCU’s steady Maury for fourth place. In addition, Harvey spiked 25% among women 25-54 to a 1.0 and was up 19% from last year in households.

NBCU’s Steve Wilkos and CTD’s Rachael Ray both rose 8% for the week to a 1.4, tying Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, which was flat. All three shows tied for sixth place. NBCU’s Jerry Springer stayed at a 1.3, but improved 18% from last year at this time and landed in a tie with Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which fell 19% to a 1.3. Even with that drop, Wendy was still up the most year-to-year of any talker, climbing 30% while Dr. Oz was down the most, losing 26%.

NBCU’s rookie Meredith Vieira rallied 10% to a 1.1, while Warner Bros.’ fellow freshman The Real dropped 9% to a 1.0, tying CTD’s The Doctors, which held steady. Meredith’s The Better Show, which will end its run at the end of this season, was unchanged at a 0.2. Meanwhile, The Daily Buzz, which hasn’t been nationally rated since the end of 2013, has been canceled.

CTD’s Judge Judy continued to preside over the gavelers, holding steady at a 6.5, despite being completely in reruns. Stablemate Hot Bench, created by Judge Judy Sheindlin, was the number-two court room at a 1.8, the show’s highest-rating since the week of March 2 even though the show was mostly in repeats. At the beginning of April, Hot Bench was upgraded to the primary CBS station in top markets.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court sank 6% to a 1.6. Twentieth's Divorce Court was flat at a 1.4, tying Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis, which perked up 8%. MGM’s sophomore Lauren Lake's Paternity Court was unchanged at a 1.2, while Trifecta’s rookie Judge Faith was off 13% to a 0.7.

In access, CTD’s Wheel of Fortune rolled ahead 3% to a 6.8, and regained game’s sole possession of first-place among households. CTD’s Jeopardy!, which tied Wheel for the first time in 2015 in the prior week, stayed in the race, outpacing 2% to a 6.7. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud fell 5% in households to a 6.0, still up 25% from the same week last year. Family Feud also tied with Judge Judy to lead all of syndication among women 25-54 at a 2.9.

Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire rebounded from a 13-year low with a 6% rise for the week to a 1.7, still down 15% from last year at this time. Next season, Millionaire will add The Bachelor’s Chris Harrison as host. Debmar-Mercury’s freshman Celebrity Name Game remained at a 1.3.

Elsewhere, MGM’s video variety show RightThisMinute unchanged at a 1.4 for the fourth straight week.

Among magazines, CTD’s Entertainment Tonight strengthened 3% to a 3.3. CTD’s Inside Edition also added 3% to a 3.1. Warner Bros.’ TMZ faded 5% to a 1.9. NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood, Warner Bros.’ Extra and CTD’s The Insider all held steady at a 1.7, 1.4 and 1.3, respectively. Twentieth’s Dish Nation shrank 9% to a 1.0 while Trifecta’s OK! TV climbed 50% from a 0.2 to a 0.3.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory weakened 4% to a 5.5 but still led the off-net sitcoms by a large margin. Twentieth’s Modern Family was flat at a 3.5. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved down 3% to a 2.8. Twentieth’s Family Guy grew 9% to a 2.4. Warner Bros.’ newbie Mike & Molly gained 5% to a 2.3. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother slumped 9% to a 2.1, tying SPT’s Seinfeld, which stayed at a 2.1. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show climbed 6% to a 1.8. Warner Bros.’ The Middle sagged 6% to a 1.7, while Twentieth’s King of the Hill was flat at a 1.6.

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.