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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.