Syndication Ratings: ‘Dr. Phil’ Tops Talk

The session ending Jan. 10 was a strong one for many syndicated shows. 

The strip with the biggest week-to-week improvement was CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil, which returned to the top spot in talk as its ratings bloomed 33% from the week before to a 3.2 live plus same day national Nielsen rating. The show’s best number since November.

Among women 25-54, Dr. Phil and Disney-ABC’s Live With Kelly and Michael tied for first at a 1.5 in the key demo. Among households, Live With kelly and Michael dipped 9% from its season high in the previous frame but still finished a close second at a 3.1.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres rose 23% to a third-place 2.7. NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey moved up to fourth with a 6% gain to a 1.9. 

Meanwhile, Harvey had his biggest day ever in the four-year history of the show in the metered markets on Monday, Jan. 18, when joined by newly crowned Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach. Harvey skyrocketed 44% from last year at this time to a 2.6 rating/6 share, including a time period winning 3.4 rating/8 share in top market New York, doubling its year-ago performance. 

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, the guest was Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutiérrez, who was the first runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant. Harvey, of course, made worldwide headlines in December while hosting the pageant when he mistakenly announced Miss Colombia as the winner. 

Back in the nationals, NBCU’s Maury eased 5% to a 1.9 after clocking a season high in the prior stanza. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams climbed 14% to a 1.6, tying CTD’s steady Rachael Ray, which remained at its season-high 1.6 for a second straight week. Compared to last year at this time, however, Rachael was up 14%, which was the largest annual increase of any talk show.

NBCU’s Steve Wilkos held firm at its season-high 1.5 and remained tied with Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, which was flat at a 1.5. NBCU’s Jerry Springer and CTD’s The Doctors both held firm at 1.4 and 1.1, respectively, which were their season high marks set in the previous session.

NBCU’s Meredith Vieira, which will conclude its run in May, had the distinction of being the only veteran talk show to hit a new season high in the nationals this week, strengthening 11% to a 1.0 and tying Warner Bros.’ The Real, which also added 11% to a 1.0. 

In rookie action, Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily, which has been the top new strip in first-run for the past 17 weeks, remained at its series-high 1.0, which it had set the week before.

Disney-ABC’s FABLife came up big with a 13% spike to a 0.9, its best rating yet. Ironically, the show just announced it will conclude its run at the end of this season

Among women 25-54, Crime Watch continued to show the way with a first place 0.6 in the key demo. FABLife took over second with a 25% increase to a 0.5.

The four-week test of The Security Brief With Paul Viollis ended with an average 0.4 rating/1 share in 15 metered markets, down 20% from its year-ago time period.

Another tryout, Warner Bros.’ South of Wilshire, averaged a 0.4 rating/1 share after two weeks in 11 metered markets and was down 43% from its year-ago time period average.

In court, CTD’s Judge Judy continued to defy gravity with a 13% surge to a 7.8. Its highest rating since November and the highest rating of any strip on the overall syndication chart for the 28th time in the past 29 weeks. Judy was also up 7% from last year at this time.

CTD’s Hot Bench, which was created by Judge Judy Sheindlin, grew 4% to a 2.5, matching its series high. In addition, the No. 2 gaveller was up 32% from last year, which was the sharpest annual increase of any strip in syndication. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court fell 5% to a 1.9, while Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis, MGM’s Divorce Court and Trifecta’s Judge Faith were all flat at 1.5, 1.4 and 0.9, respectively.

In access, the top-tier magazines continued to add to their recent strong gains. Leader CTD’s Entertainment Tonight hit a new season high with a 13% spike to a 3.6 and topped the category for the sixth straight week. CTD’s Inside Edition perked up 21% to a new season-high 3.5. Warner Bros.’ TMZ tacked on 12% to a 1.9. NBCU’s Access Hollywood leaped 13% to a 1.7. Its best rating since the week of Dec. 14. Warner Bros.’ Extra shot up 15% to a six-week high 1.5. CTD’s The Insider rallied 8% to a 1.3, matching its season high. Twentieth’s Dish Nation upticked 11% to a 1.0 equaling its season high and Trifecta’s OK! TV was unchanged at a 0.3.

Among game shows, CTD’s Wheel of Fortune accelerated 19% to a new season-high 7.6. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud swelled 9% to a new season-high 7.2. and CTD’s Jeopardy! jumped 15% to a new season-high 7.0. However, of the top three games year-to-year, only Feud was in the plus column with a gain of 4%. Wheel was down 5%, while Jeopardy! declined 8%. 

Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game edged ahead 7% to a new season-high 1.5, while Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which was recently renewed, sank 7% to a 1.3 and lost 28% from last year at this time.

Meanwhile, MGM’s viral video show RightThisMinute, which was also just renewed, was unchanged at a 1.2 but down 29% from last year. 

In off-net syndication, Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory made some noise with a 16% sprint to a 6.4, matching its season high. Twentieth’s Modern Family finished 9% higher at a 3.5. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved up 11% to a new season-high 3.0. Twentieth’s Family Guy stood pat at a 2.2, tying Warner Bros.’ freshman 2 Broke Girls and Warner Bros.’ sophomore Mike & Molly, which both picked up 10% to a new season-high 2.2. SPT’s Seinfeld added 11% to a 2.0. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show rose 7% to a 1.6, while Warner Bros.’ The Middle raced ahead 17% to a new season-high 1.4.

Jessika Walsten

Jessika is content engagement director of Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV. She has been with the brands in various roles since 2013. In her current role, she works primarily behind the screen, keeping an eye on the website and fixing any site bugs. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects for NextTV, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.