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Syndication Ratings: 'Dr. Phil' Retakes Talk's Top Slot After Eight Weeks in Second Place

CBS Television Distribution's 'Dr. Phil' (Image credit:

CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil finally found the cure for its ratings ills, improving 10% to an eight-week high 2.2 live plus same day national household rating in the week ended May 17, according to Nielsen Media Research. That gave Phil the talk lead for the time since the week ended March 22, which included the first week of stay-at-home orders in most states. 

The 10% increase was in sharp contrast to most other strips, which did well to break even amid ongoing preemptions for coverage of the pandemic. For the second straight week, Phil was the only talker that improved in households and the only syndicated strip of any type to increase for three weeks in a row, improving 22% over the three-week span. 

Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan, which has led talk for the past seven weeks with episodes produced while the hosts interviewed guests remotely, gave back 5% to a second-place 2.0. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil and Live tied for first at a 0.8.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres dropped 6% to a new season-low 1.5. NBCU’s Maury and Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams both were unchanged at a 1.1 and 1.0, respectively. 

Related: Wendy Williams to Take Hiatus From Daytime Talker 

CTD’s Rachael Ray retreated 9% to a 1.0, tying Wendy Williams and NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, which was flat. 

SPT’s Dr. Oz, Warner Bros.’ The Real, CTD’s The Doctors and NBCU’s out-of-production syndicated run of Jerry Springer all were stable at a 0.8, 0.5, 0.5 and 0.3, respectively. 

NBCU’s renewed rookie talker Kelly Clarkson was in repeats on four of the five days and also faced preemptions in large markets and slipped 9% to a new season-low 1.0. Meanwhile, the show and the host were nominated for a total of seven Daytime Emmys, including outstanding entertainment talk show and outstanding entertainment talk-show host.

Related: CBS Leads 47th Annual Daytime Emmy Nominations with 57 

Disney’s Tamron Hall, which was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for outstanding informational talk-show host, also was heavily preempted in New York and Los Angeles but held steady at a 0.9.

SPT’s Mel Robbins, which won’t return next season, was flat at a 0.4 for the eighth straight week.

CTD’s court leader Judge Judy eased 8% to a 5.9 in repeats on all five days. CTD’s Hot Bench held at a 2.1 to rank as daytime’s third-highest rated show behind Judy and Phil.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court skidded 7% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis stayed at a 1.0 for the eighth consecutive week. Fox’s Divorce Court fell 13% to a 0.7. Debmar-Mercury’s Caught in Providence stood pat at a 0.4.

NBCU’s Judge Jerry, renewed for season two, held steady at a 0.8 with repeats on all five days. MGM/Orion’s Personal Injury Court slipped and fell 17% to a 0.5, while Trifecta’s Protection Court claimed a 0.3 for the 36th straight week. 

Magazines were blacked out in number-one market New York for a live coronavirus telethon on May 11, titled Rise Up New York, which was carried by all affiliates. 

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight and Inside Edition tied to lead the magazines at a 2.7 with both shows dipping 4%. NBCU’s Access Hollywood, Warner Bros.’ TMZ and Extra and CTD’s DailyMailTV all were on par with the prior frame at a 1.3, 1.1, 0.9 and 0.8, respectively. 

Trifecta’s Celebrity Page remained at a 0.2 for the 46th straight week. 

All of the games lost ground. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud fell 3% to a 6.5. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune slowed 3% to a 6.0. CTD’s Jeopardy! downticked 2% to a 5.8. 

Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask sagged 17% to a 0.5. 

Among the rookie games, Fox’s 25 Words or Less lost 9% to a 1.0, while SPT’s off-GSN  America Says, which isn’t returning for season two, eroded 11% to a 0.8. 

Disney’s internet video show RightThisMinute recovered 14% to a 0.8. 

NBCU’s off-network crime strip Dateline logged a 1.1 for a fifth straight week. NBCU’s scripted procedural Chicago PD slumped 10% to a 0.9, while SPT’s off-A&E Live PD Police Patrol stayed at a 0.8 for a second week. 

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory slid 6% to lead the off-network sitcoms at a 3.2. Disney’s Last Man Standing stayed put at a 2.1. Disney’s Modern Family faded 7% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men and SPT’s The Goldbergs and Seinfeld all were steady at a 1.3, 1.1 and 1.1, respectively. Disney’s Family Guy grew 10% to a 1.1, tying Seinfeld and Goldbergs. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly and Disney’s Black-ish both broke even at a 1.0. Warner Bros.’ Mom remained at a 0.9.