Syndication Ratings: 'Dr. Phil' Regains Talk Lead

Syndication settled down in the week ending Jan. 18, with most shows steady for the week.

CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil, however, returned to the top of the talkers with a 3.3 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. That was up 3% for the week and the year. Phil also finished first in talk among women 25-54, improving 6% to a 1.7 in daytime’s key demographic.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael, which had been the talk leader for the past three weeks, eased 3% to a 3.2 in households but was still up 7% from last year at this time.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen was third with a 2.9, up 4% for the week but flat year to year. NBCU’s Steve Harvey continued to move up the chart with a 5% advance to a 2.0 to tie NBCU’s steady Maury for fourth place.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, NBCU’s Jerry Springer, CTD’s Rachael Ray, NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, CTD’s The Doctors and SPT’s soon-to-depart Queen Latifah all were steady at a 1.8, 1.5, 1.4, 1.4, 1.4, 1.1 and 1.0, respectively.

Meredith’s The Better Show, which will end its run after this season, inched up from a 0.1 to a 0.2.

Elsewhere in daytime, CTD’s Judge Judy ruled the court shows with a 7.4, up 1% from the previous week and that show’s highest rating since the November sweep. In addition, Judy was syndication’s top-rated first-run strip for the 36th time in the past 40 weeks.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Twentieth’s Divorce Court each were flat at a 1.8 and 1.6, respectively. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis sank 7% to a 1.4. MGM’s sophomore Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court improved 9% to a 1.2.

CTD’s Hot Bench continued to lead the first-run rookies. After hitting a new series high in the prior week, the panel court show gave back 11% to a first-place 1.7 in households. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game was flat at a 1.3. Warner Bros.’ The Real hit a new season high 1.2, up 9% from the prior week. NBCU's Meredith Vieira slipped 8% to a 1.1, while Trifecta’s recently renewed Judge Faith was unchanged at a 0.7.

Among women 25-54, The Real was on top with an unchanged 0.9, followed by Hot Bench at a steady 0.8. Celebrity Name Game dropped 13% in the demo to a 0.7. Meredith Vieira was flat at a 0.6, as was Judge Faith at a 0.4.

All of the game shows were down, except for Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which appreciated 6% to hit an eight-week high 1.9. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune lost 10% to a 7.2, while CTD’s Jeopardy! declined 7% to a 7.1 and Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud flagged 1% to a 6.6. Those three shows ranked second, third and fourth in overall syndication, respectively. 

Elsewhere, MGM’s video variety show RightThisMinute slid 6% to a 1.6.

Magazines were mostly down after two strong weeks. Only NBCU’s Access Hollywood managed to gain, improving 5% to a new season high 2.0 with its next-day coverage of the Golden Globe Awards. CTD’s leader Entertainment Tonight yielded 8% to a 3.6. CTD’s Inside Edition softened 3% to a 3.3. Warner Bros.’ TMZ slumped 9% to a 2.0 to tie Access Hollywood. Warner Bros.’ Extra dipped 6% to a 1.6, while The Insider was down 7% to a 1.3.

Twentieth’s Dish Nation was flat at a 1.1, while Trifecta’s OK! TV tumbled 33% from a 0.3 to a 0.2.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory cooled off a bit, falling 2% to a 6.4. Meanwhile, Twentieth’s Modern Family climbed for the third straight week, adding 2% to a new season high 4.5. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men dropped 3% to a 3.1. Twentieth’s Family Guy gained 4% to a 2.6. Warner Bros.’ rookie Mike and Molly declined 12% to a 2.3, tying Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother, which was unchanged. SPT’s Seinfeld stayed at a 2.2. Warner Bros.’ The Middle finished 5% lower at a 1.8. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show was off 11% to a 1.7, while Twentieth’s King of the Hill declined 6% to a 1.6.

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.