Syndication Ratings: ‘Ellen DeGeneres,’ ‘Kelly Clarkson’ Hit New Season Highs

Ellen DeGeneres on talk show 'Ellen'
Ellen DeGeneres is hosting her eponymous talk show through its 19th and final season. (Image credit: Warner Bros./The Ellen DeGeneres Show)

Ellen DeGeneres, Kelly Clarkson and Judge Judy were the only three daytime shows to hit new season highs in the week ended Dec. 12, which included preemptions for the funeral of U.S. senator and former Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole on Dec. 10. 

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres, in its 19th and final season, spiked 10% to a 1.1 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen. Its Ellen DeGeneres’ best score since the week ended Feb. 21. Ellen DeGeneres was the only talker in the top nine to hold 100% of its year-ago rating. 

NBCUniversal’s Kelly Clarkson, which will take Ellen DeGeneres’ time slots on NBC-owned stations next season, also hit a new season high, adding 11% for the week and 25% over the past three weeks to a 1.0, while chalking up its biggest result since the week ended Feb. 28. 

Leading the talkers for a second straight week and for the fifth time in the past six weeks was Dr. Phil with a steady 1.8. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil led with a 0.7, followed by Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan at a 0.6 and Kelly Clarkson, Ellen and NBCU’s conflict talker Maury all at a 0.4. 

Back in households, Live landed right behind Phil, staying put at a 1.7 for the fourth time in five weeks. Maury marshaled a 0.8 for the sixth time in seven weeks, tying Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which rose 14% while guest-hosted for a second week by Leah Remini and Michelle Visage.

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Disney’s Tamron Hall and CBS’ Rachael Ray both retained a 0.7. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos stayed put at a 0.6 for a seventh consecutive week. CBS’ Drew Barrymore maintained a 0.5. That tied Debmar-Mercury’s newcomer Nick Cannon, which improved 25% after four straight weeks at a 0.4, and Sony Pictures Television’s soon-to-end Dr. Oz, which fell back 17% after the show was pulled in Pennsylvania and New York beginning Wednesday, Dec. 1, as a result of host Dr. Mehmet Oz’s announcement that he was running for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania. Compared to the same week last year, Dr. Oz fell 29%, the biggest annual decline of any talker in the top 14. Only CBS’ The Doctors, which is down 33% year to year, is down more.

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NBCU’s out-of-production Jerry Springer stayed at a 0.3 for the 12th consecutive week, tying Warner Bros.’ The Real, which hit that mark for the 12th time in 13 weeks this season. The Doctors was stable at a 0.2 for the fortieth straight week.

No longer being in original production was no problem for CBS’ courtroom leader Judge Judy, which scored its highest ratings since the week ended July 11 and strengthened 6% to a 5.0 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. Judge Judy  ranked as the fourth-highest-rated show in national syndication. 

CBS’ Hot Bench climbed 7% to a 1.5. Warner Bros.’ The People's Court and Judge Mathis and Fox’s recently renewed Divorce Court continued to collect a 0.8, 0.6 and 0.5, respectively. NBCU’s Judge Jerry jumped 25% to a 0.5, tying Divorce Court, after 11 straight weeks at a series-low 0.4. Wrigley Media’s rookie Relative Justice sagged 25% to a 0.3.

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CBS’ Jeopardy!, which, together with CBS’ Wheel of Fortune, is produced by Sony Pictures Television, led all of syndication at a steady 5.7 with the first week of its first-ever Professors Tournament.

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Wheel of Fortune spun up 4% to a new season high 5.4. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud fell back 2% to a 5.2 for third place in overall syndication and games.

Fox’s 25 Words or Less leapt 14% to a 0.8, while Fox’s rookie You Bet Your Life languished at a 0.7 for the 11th straight week. Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask responded with a 0.4 for the seventh week in a row.

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Disney’s internet video show RightThisMinute mobilized a 0.6 for the 17th time in 18 weeks. 

CBS’ top-two magazines, Inside Edition and Entertainment Tonight, each finished 5% ahead of the prior week at a 2.3 and a 2.1, respectively. NBCU’s Access Hollywood, Warner Bros.’ TMZ and Warner Bros.’ Extra all held their ground at a 0.8, 0.7 and 0.6, respectively. CBS’ DailyMailTV added 20% to a 0.6, tying Extra. Fox’s Dish Nation notched a 50% increase from a 0.2 to a 0.3. 

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory led the off-network sitcoms at a consistent 2.1. Disney’s Last Man Standing stumbled 7% to a 1.3. Warner Bros.’ rookie Young Sheldon scored a second straight 0.9. Disney’s Modern Family faded 11% to a 0.8, tying Sony’s The Goldbergs and Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men, both of which were steady, and Disney’s Family Guy, which added 14%. Sony’s Seinfeld surged 17% to a 0.7. Finally, Disney’s Black-ish and Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls both garnered a 0.6, on par with the prior week. ■

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.