Syndication Ratings: 'Dr. Phil' Widens Lead Over Talk Field

After facing heavy preemptions in the prior week due to the inauguration of President Donald Trump, CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil rebounded 23% in the week ended Jan. 29 to a 3.7 live plus same day national Nielsen rating. That matches Phil’s second-highest rating of the season and gives the show the talk lead by more than a ratings point. Phil has led the talkers for 21 straight weeks.

Year to year, Dr. Phil was the only one of the 13 veteran talkers to show improvement, climbing 12% from the same week last year. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil was again first with a 21% spurt to 1.7.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly emerged as talk’s second-highest rated show, holding steady at a 2.5 after being tied with Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres for three straight weeks. Ellen faded 4% to a third place 2.4. 

However, among women 25-54 there was a dead heat for second place, with Live, Ellen and Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams all tying at a 1.2. Live was flat in the demo, Ellen dropped 8% and Wendy picked up 9%.

Back in households, Wendy Williams in fourth place gained 6% to a new season-high 1.7, tying NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey, which was flat for the week but down 19% from last year at this time. NBCU’s Maury was flat at a 1.6. NBCU’s Jerry Springer, CTD’s Rachael Ray and NBCU’s Steve Wilkos all tied at a 1.3, with Springer and Ray down 7% and Wilkos flat for the week. 

Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz faded 14% to a 1.2, matching its season low and falling 20% from last year at this time.

Warner Bros.’ The Real came back to life, leaping 38% to a new season-high 1.1 after being mired at a 0.8 for five straight weeks. The Real also rose 50% in the key demo to a 0.9.

NBCU’s newcomer Harry held steady at a 1.1 in households, tying The Real, and climbed 20% among women 25-54 to a 0.6.

Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen and CTD’s The Doctors both stood pat at a 1.0 and a 0.9, respectively, with Doctors delivering a 25% increase among women 25-54 to a 0.5.

CTD’s Judge Judy dipped 4% from its season high in the previous session to a 7.4 to lead the courts. 

CTD’s Hot Bench climbed 4% to a 2.6, matching its series high and coming in third in daytime behind only Judy and Dr. Phil and beating Live and Ellen.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court recovered 13% to a 1.8. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis sagged 7% to a 1.3. Twentieth’s Divorce Court and Trifecta’s JudgeFaith were unchanged at a 1.1 and 0.8, respectively. 

Game shows woke up, with Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud adding 7% to a 7.6 in households to lead the games for a 40th straight week as well as all of syndication.

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune accelerated 6% to a 7.0. CTD’s Jeopardy! jumped 8% to a 6.7. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire gained 6% to a 1.8, matching its season high. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game, which will end after this season, added 8% to a 1.4.

Elsewhere, Disney-ABC’s viral video show RightThisMinute was unchanged at a 1.5. 

Among the magazines, the story of the week was the death of TV icon Mary Tyler Moore. The sole magazine to capitalize on the story and increase ratings, however, was CTD’s Entertainment Tonight, which strengthened 9% to a 3.6. 

CTD’s Inside Edition, Warner Bros.’ TMZ, NBCU’s Access Hollywood, Warner Bros.’ Extra, CTD’s The Insider, Twentieth’s DishNation and Trifecta’s Celebrity Page all held steady for the week at a 3.2, 1.7, 1.5, 1.3, 1.2, 0.8 and 0.3, respectively.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory led the off-net sitcoms at an unchanged 5.9. Twentieth’s Modern Family added 3% to hit a new season-high 3.2. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved down 7% to a 2.5. Twentieth’s Family Guy finished flat at a 2.1. Twentieth’s rookie Last Man Standing strengthened 5% to a 2.0, climbing to fifth place overall among off-net sitcoms. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly fell 5% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls remained at a 1.8. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother motored ahead 17% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ The Middle gained 8% to a 1.3, while SPT’s Seinfeld sank 8% to a 1.2, tying Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show, which was flat.

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.