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Syndication Ratings: ‘Ellen’ Hits Ratings High as Show Nears End

Ellen DeGeneres hugs Jennifer Aniston.
Ellen DeGeneres hugs Jennifer Aniston, the first and last celebrity to appear on the daytime talker. (Image credit: Warner Bros./Michael Rozman)

Ellen DeGeneres surged 22% in the ratings session ended May 22, which was Ellen’s penultimate week of original episodes. The veteran talker scored a 1.1 live-plus-same-day national household rating, according to Nielsen, matching the strip’s season high.

Besides Warner Bros.’s Ellen, only two other talkers were able to surpass a 1.0 rating: CBS Media Ventures’ Dr. Phil and Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan

Dr. Phil led the category for the second week in a row with a steady 1.6, while Live, which was again without co-host Kelly Ripa, remained at a second-place 1.5. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil and Live tied for first at a 0.5, followed by Ellen at a 0.4.

NBCUniversal’s Kelly Clarkson eased 11% to a 0.8 in households. Disney’s Tamron Hall was the only talk show besides Ellen to improve for the week, climbing 17% to a 0.7 and tying both CBS’s flat Rachael Ray and NBCUniversal’s steady conflict talker Maury. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos repeated a 0.6 for the 13th straight week, tying Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which weakened 14% with a mix of guest hosts – the duo of Leah Remini and Michele Visage on some days and Michael Rapoport on the others. 

CBS’s renewed Drew Barrymore retained a 0.5. Debmar-Mercury’s canceled Nick Cannon and Sony Pictures Television’s soon-to-end The Good Dish continued to stew at a 0.4. NBCU’s out-of-production Jerry Springer and Warner Bros.’s exiting The Real both stayed at a 0.3. CBS’s The Doctors, also nearing its end, dawdled at a 0.2 for a 63rd straight week. 

CBS’s Jeopardy! led the game shows, inching up 2% to a 5.3, and topping syndication for the eighth consecutive week. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud featured a second-place 5.1 for a second week. CBS’ Wheel of Fortune ticked up 2% to a 4.7. 

Fox’s You Bet Your Life with Jay Leno and 25 Words or Less, starring and executive produced by Meredith Vieira, both broke even at a 0.8 and a 0.7, respectively. Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask stayed at a 0.3 for a second straight week. 

Disney’s internet video show RightThisMinute maintained a 0.5.

CBS’s Inside Edition led the magazines with a flat 2.1, followed by sister series Entertainment Tonight, which eased 5% to a 2.0. NBCU’s Access Hollywood, Fox’s TMZ, Warner Bros.’s Extra, CBS’s canceled DailyMailTV and Fox’s Dish Nation all stayed put at a 0.7, 0.7, 0.6, 0.5 and 0.2, respectively.

CBS’s Judge Judy, out of production and in repeats, ruled the category at a steady 4.5. CBS’s Hot Bench sustained a 1.4 for a fourth straight week. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court came back 14% from a series low to a 0.8. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis, Fox’s Divorce Court, NBCU’s canceled Judge Jerry and Wrigley Media’s renewed rookie Relative Justice all were stable at a 0.6, 0.4, 0.4 and 0.3, respectively.

The off-net sitcoms were all flat to down. Warner Bros.’s leader The Big Bang Theory, Disney’s Last Man Standing, Warner Bros.’s freshman Young Sheldon and Sony’s The Goldbergs all stayed at a 1.9, 1.2, 0.9 and a 0.7, respectively. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men and Disney’s Modern Family both fell 13% to a 0.7, tying The Goldbergs. Disney’s Family Guy gave away 14% to a 0.6, tying Sony’s Seinfeld, which stayed put for a sixth straight week. Both Disney’s Black-ish and Warner Bros.’s Mom maintained a 0.5. ■

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.