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Syndication Ratings: ‘Ellen’ Exits On a Season High

'The Ellen DeGeneres Show''s final episode included guests Pink, Billie Eilish and Jennifer Aniston.
The final episode of ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ included guests Pink, Billie Eilish and Jennifer Aniston. (Image credit: Warner Bros./'Ellen')

The Ellen DeGeneres Show ended its 19-season run with a strong finish in an otherwise slow week that ended May 29. 

Ellen DeGeneres danced to a new season high, and was the only show in syndication to do so, adding 18% to a new season-best 1.3 live-plus-same-day national household rating, according to Nielsen. 

That put Ellen — which has won 61 Daytime Emmys, including an industry record for outstanding entertainment talk show — up 44% over the prior two weeks and up 30% from last year at this time. The host’s emotional farewell on May 26 skyrocketed the show 64% from the prior Thursday to a single-day 1.8 rating.

Many shows, including Ellen, were hit with preemptions in various markets May 24-27 for coverage of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in which 19 children and two teachers were murdered. 

Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan returned to the top of the talkers, strengthening 7% to a 1.6. On Monday, May 23, the show hit a single-day rating of 1.8 with a performance from Noah Thompson, who the previous evening had just been named the 20th American Idol.

In second place, CBS Media Ventures’ Dr. Phil fell back 6% to a 1.5 with repeats on two of the five days. 

After Ellen, NBCUniversal’s Kelly Clarkson clocked a steady 0.8. Disney’s Tamron Hall, CBS’ Rachael Ray and NBCU’s out-of-production conflict talker Maury all maintained a 0.7 to tie Debmar-Mercury’s concluding Wendy Williams. Wendy rebounded 17% to a 0.7 with guest host Sherri Shepherd, whose own show will replace Wendy Williams next season. NBCU’s renewed Steve Wilkos fielded a 0.6 for a 14th straight week, while CBS’ returning Drew Barrymore stayed at a 0.5. 

Sony Pictures Television’s The Good Dish and Debmar-Mercury’s Nick Cannon, neither of which will return next season, both tumbled 25% to a 0.3, tying NBCU’s out-of-production Jerry Springer and Warner Bros.’ ready-to-retire The Real, both of which broke even. CBS’ The Doctors, which is also ending its run, stayed at a 0.2 for the 64th straight week.

CBS’s out-of-production Judge Judy continued to rule the court shows, even though it dipped 2% to a 4.4 in repeats.

CBS’s Hot Bench declined 7% to a new season-low 1.3. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court claimed a second-straight 0.8. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis skidded 17% to a 0.5. Fox’s Divorce Court and NBCU’s canceled Judge Jerry both were on par with the prior week’s 0.4, tying Wrigley Media’s renewed rookie Relative Justice, which rose 33%.

The top three games were all slightly lower. CBS’s Jeopardy! lost 2% to a 5.2 but still held a narrow lead over all of syndication for a ninth consecutive week. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud also fell 2% to a 5.0 but led all of syndication among the key women 25-54 demographic at a 1.7. CBS’s Wheel of Fortune also forfeited 2% to a 4.6.

Fox’s You Bet Your Life with host Jay Leno, Fox’s 25 Words or Less starring Meredith Vieira, and Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask all stayed at a 0.8, 0.7, 0.3, respectively.

Disney’s internet video show RightThisMinute recovered 20% to a 0.6.

CBS’s Entertainment Tonight tied CBS’s Inside Edition for first place among the entertainment magazines, with ET steady at a 2.0 and IE fading 5%. NBCU’s Access Hollywood had the group’s greatest increase, forging ahead 14% to a third-place 0.8. Fox’s TMZ, Warner Bros’ Extra, CBS’s canceled DailyMailTV and Fox’s Dish Nation all stayed put at a 0.7, 0.6, 0.5 and 0.2, respectively.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory led the off-network sitcoms with a steady 1.9. Disney’s Last Man Standing stumbled 8% to a 1.1. Warner Bros.’ newbie Young Sheldon shouldered a 0.9 for a seventh straight week. Disney’s Family Guy gained 33% to a 0.8. SPT’s The Goldbergs, Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men and Disney’s Modern Family all stood pat at a 0.7. Sony’s Seinfeld stayed at a 0.6 for a seventh consecutive week. Warner Bros.’ Mom managed a 0.5 for a third week. Debmar-Mercury’s Schitt’s Creek returned to the chart after a long absence, jumping up 33% to a 0.4, tying Disney’s Black-ish, which backed down 20%, and Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly, which held steady for a second straight session. ■

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.