Syndication Ratings: ‘Ellen’ Grows with 12 Days of Giveaways

Ellen DeGeneres hosts her annual 12 Days of Giveaways.
Ellen DeGeneres hosts her annual 12 Days of Giveaways in branded integration with Target. (Image credit: Warner Bros./The Ellen DeGeneres Show)

The kickoff of the season of holiday cheer and generosity was good to Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres, which began its annual "12 Days of Giveaways" in the Thanksgiving week ending Nov. 29. The show was rewarded with an 18% jump from the prior week to a 1.3 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, the show’s highest household number since the week ending May 31.

The only other first strip to score a new season high was CBS Television Distribution’s court show Hot Bench, which spiked 6% to a 1.8, its most favorable verdict in 11 weeks.

Most other programs were flat at best with many shows, especially those in access, socked with sometimes severe declines due to decreased viewership on Thanksgiving Day and massive holiday preemptions on both Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 26, and Black Friday, Nov. 27, primarily on Fox affiliates due to NFL and college football.

Meanwhile, Ellen was one of several daytime strips that was able to break out Thanksgiving and Black Friday from their weekly ratings averages due to extreme coverage losses on those days. (In order for Nielsen to break out a show’s ratings average on any given day, it has to lose 10% or more of its national coverage. If a show’s primary run is preempted but its secondary run still airs in a market, that secondary run still counts towards coverage.)

Even excluding the holidays, however, Ellen was down 35% from the same week last year.

Topping the talkers was again Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan, which held steady at a 1.9 for the week. Live has been first or tied for first in talk in eight of the past 12 weeks. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Live also led at a 0.8.

Right behind Live was CTD’s Dr. Phil, which did not benefit from any ratings break-outs, and gave back 10% to a 1.8. 

Following the aforementioned Ellen in fourth place was NBCUniversal’s sophomore Kelly Clarkson, which relinquished 10% from its season high to a 0.9. That tied Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, CTD’s Rachael Ray and NBCU’s Maury, all of which remained on par with the prior week. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos stayed at a 0.8 for a third straight week. 

Disney’s sophomore Tamron Hall, like Dr. Phil, also faced severe preemptions of its primary runs but could not break out any days and backtracked 13% to a 0.7. That tied Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, which was stable.

RELATED: Disney-ABC Renews ‘Tamron Hall’ for Season 3

Warner Bros.’ The Real, CTD’s The Doctors and NBCU’s out-of-production syndicated run of Jerry Springer all stayed put at a 0.4, 0.3 and 0.2, respectively, with Doctors and Springer remaining at series lows. 

CTD’s rookie talker Drew Barrymore in its 11th week held at a 0.5 and rose 50% among women 25-54 to a 0.3 from a 0.2, tying Tamron, Rachael and Dr. Oz in the key demo, despite being preempted at least 12 times in the top-30 markets on Black Friday.

CTD’s Judge Judy ticked down 2% to a 6.0 but led the courts and all of syndication in households. Following the previously noted Hot Bench, Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was flat at a 1.1. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis moved down 11% to a 0.8. NBCU’s sophomore court Judge Jerry, starring Springer, stayed at a 0.7 for a fifth straight week. Fox’s Divorce Court settled for a 14% decline to a 0.6. Trifecta’s Protection Court remained at a 0.3 for the 11th consecutive week. 

In access, the top-six magazines were all down. CTD’s Inside Edition faded 15% to a 2.2, while sister series Entertainment Tonight was right behind, yielding 13% to a 2.1. NBCU’s Access Hollywood was third, easing 9% to a 1.0. Warner Bros.’ TMZ skidded 13% to a 0.7. Warner Bros.’ Extra did not air its primary run 13 times in the top-eight markets, including losing top market New York on three of the five days, and fell back 14% from its season-high 0.7 to a 0.6. CTD’s DailyMailTV slumped 29% to a new series-low 0.5.

Fox’s Dish Nation stayed at a 0.3 for the 13th straight week, while Trifecta’s Celebrity Page remained at a 0.2.

RELATED: Fox TV Stations Renew Three Shows for Two More Seasons

CTD’s Jeopardy! remained games’ top player following the death of host Alex Trebek on Nov. 8, although it softened 15% to a 5.0 to tie Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud, which fell 12% to a season low. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune skidded 13% to a 4.9.

RELATED: Remembering ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Alex Trebek

Fox’s 25 Words or Less lost 11% to a 0.8, while Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask tumbled 20% to 0.4. 

Disney’s internet video show RightThisMinute was minus 14% to a 0.6.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory led the off-net sitcoms even though it declined 11% to a 2.4. Disney’s Last Man Standing stumbled 5% to a 1.9. Disney’s Family Guy blew up 70% to a new season-high 1.7. Disney’s Modern Family recovered 9% to a 1.2. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men slumped 9% to a 1.0, tying SPT’s The Goldbergs, which was a constant 1.0 for the 11th straight week. SPT’s Seinfeld shrank 11% to a 0.8, tying Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly, which held steady for the third week in a row. Finally, Disney’s Black-ish backed down 13% to a 0.7, tying Warner Bros.’ Mom and 2 Broke Girls, both of which stood pat.

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.