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Syndication Ratings: 'Dr. Phil's Exclusive With Anthony Parents Drives Show to Best Premiere in Seven Years

Dr. Phil's season-opening exclusive with the parents of acquitted Casey Anthony scored the show its highest premiere ratings since 2004.

CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil earned a 4.6 rating/13 share primary-run weighted metered market household average, according to Nielsen Media Research, on Tuesday, Sept. 13. That's up 142% from the show's 1.9/6 lead-in and up 109% from last year's 2.2/6 season premiere. Part two of that interview aired Wednesday, Sept. 14. Dr. Phil had been scheduled to premiere on Monday, Sept. 12, with most of the rest of syndication, but was held after CBS was forced to push the men's finals of the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament to Monday due to rain delays. 

Finishing far behind Dr. Phil on Tuesday were Disney-ABC's Live! with Regis and Kelly at a 2.7/10, Sony's Dr. Oz at a 2.5/7, Warner Bros.' Ellen at a 2.3/6 and NBCUniversal's Maury at a 1.6/5. (All these shows' daily ratings are being reported as primary-run weighted metered market household averages, which only counts ratings for a show's main run, and weights each market according to size.)

Elsewhere, Warner Bros.' Anderson, a new talk show featuring CNN's Anderson Cooper, averaged a 1.3/4 for its first two days. The show held 100% of its lead-in on Tuesday, and its strongest performance came in San Diego, where it earned a 4.5/11.

CTD's Excused, a new dating show cleared mostly in late night and hosted by comic Iliza Shlesinger, earned a 0.5/1 on Tuesday, up 25% from its Monday premiere. Excused's best market was Indianapolis, where it won its time period with a 1.7/6 at 12:30 a.m., up 55% from what NBCU's The Office scored last year in the time slot.

Another new strip, Entertainment Studios' We the People with Gloria Allred, averaged a 0.4/1 on Tuesday, down 33% from Monday's premiere. We the People airs on the NBC-owned stations in many big markets.

Meanwhile, massive power outages caused by Hurricane Irene all over the Eastern seaboard made it impossible for many viewers to watch TV in the holiday week ending Sept. 4, causing most shows' national ratings to decline. To make matters even tougher, levels of people using television dropped by more than three million viewers over the long Labor Day weekend.

Only two talk shows improved from the prior week: CTD's Rachael Ray, up 8% to a 1.3, and Warner Bros.' Ellen, up 7% to a 1.5. NBCU's Maury was the week's top talker with a flat 2.2. A tenth of a point back, Dr. Phil eased 5% to a 2.1, tying Live!, which was flat. Dr. Oz was unchanged at a 1.9. CTD's Oprah, in its final weeks, fell to its lowest weekly rating ever, sliding 5% to a 1.8. CTD's The Doctors and NBCU's Jerry Springer each held steady at a 1.4. NBCU's Steve Wilkos weakened 8% to a 1.1. Sony's Nate Berkus was flat at a 0.9. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams trailed with a new series-low 0.6, down 14% from the prior session.

CTD's Judge Judy was syndication's and court's top show at a 6.0, off 2% from the prior week. CTD's Judge Joe Brown held steady at a 2.5. Warner Bros.' People's Court climbed 6% to a 1.8. Twentieth's Judge Alex, Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis, Twentieth's Divorce Court and CTD's Swift Justice each climbed 7% to a 1.6, 1.6, 1.6 and 1.5, respectively. Entertainment Studios' America's Court grew 20% to a 0.6.

With no celebrity weddings to cover, most magazines slipped back to prior levels. CTD's Entertainment Tonight dipped 6% to a 3.3. CTD's Inside Edition sank 7% to a 2.7. NBCU's Access Hollywood held steady at a 1.7 and moved into a tie with Warner Bros.' TMZ, which fell 6%. CTD's The Insider lost 7% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.' Extra, which did not air in 14 markets including over two days in top market New York, was off 19% to a 1.3.

In game shows, CTD's Wheel of Fortune skidded 3% to a 5.9, and tied with Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men as the second-highest-rated show in syndication. CTD's Jeopardy! dropped 6% to a 4.8. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud tacked on 8% to a 2.6. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire rose 9% to a 2.4.

Among the off-net sitcoms, Two and a Half Men continued to lead at a flat 5.9. Twentieth's Family Guy fell 5% to a 4.1. Disney-ABC's My Wife and Kids sank 20% to a 3.2. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother picked up 4% to a 2.9. Sony's Seinfeld fell 4% to a 2.6, tying CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond, which rebounded 4%. The Office downsized 8% to a 2.4, tying Warner Bros.' George Lopez, which improved 4% to a 2.4 and is moving exclusively to Ion later this month. Twentieth's King of the Hill was flat at a 2.3. Carsey-Werner's That 70s Show retreated 9% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.' Friends faded 10% to a 1.8.