Syndication Ratings: 'Ellen' Takes Talk Lead with '12 Days of Christmas' Giveaways

Ellen's annual 12 Days of Christmas giveaway shows moved Warner Bros.' strip up to the head of the talk show class, scoring a season-high 3.2 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, in the pre-Christmas week ending Dec. 21.

That was up 7% from the prior week and a tenth of a point ahead of CBS Television Distribution’s usual leader, Dr. Phil, and Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael both of which scored a 3.1 in households. Phil dipped 3% for the week while Live held steady.

Year to year, Ellen was up 7% while Phil and Live each grew 11% from last year at this time. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Ellen led with a 1.6, followed by Phil and Live at a 1.5.

NBCU’s Maury moved up to fourth place with a 5% jump to a 2.0 in households. NBCU’s Steve Harvey eased 5% to a 1.9, but gained 10% to a new season high 1.1 among women 25-54. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams was unchanged at a 1.7, but increased 31% from last year at this time and hit a new season high 1.3 in the key demo, tying Maury.

NBCU’s Steve Wilkos improved 7% in households to a 1.5, and rose 11% among women 25-54 to a 1.0. Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz was down 13% to a 1.4, after setting a new season high in the prior week, tying CTD's Rachael Ray, which relinquished 7%. NBCU’s Jerry Springer stayed at a 1.3.

CTD’s The Doctors and SPT’s Queen Latifah, now out of production, both declined 9% to a 1.0, while Meredith’s The Better Show was unchanged at a 0.2.

Among the rookies, CTD’s season-to-date leader Hot Bench, moving to CBS-owned stations in top markets after Queen Latifah goes off the air at the end of March, spiked 7% to a first place 1.6 in households. Among women 25-54, Hot Bench also led, clocking a 0.9.

NBCU’s Meredith Vieira, also returning next season, held steady at a 1.2, tying Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game.

Warner Bros.’ The Real rallied 10% to a new season high 1.1, after holding at a 1.0 for 10 of the previous 11 weeks. Trifecta’s Judge Faith was flat at a 0.7.

All of the court shows were down for the week, with CTD’s Judge Judy dipping 4% from the prior week to a 6.8. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court sank 6% to a 1.6. Twentieth’s Divorce Court was flat at a 1.5. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis dropped 7% to a 1.3. MGM’s sophomore, Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court, lost 8% to a 1.1.

Magazines were stable after their recent run-up on the ongoing Bill Cosby sexual assault story. CTD’s leader Entertainment Tonight held steady for the week at a 3.4. CTD’s Inside Edition inched up 3% to a 3.2. Warner Bros.’ TMZ was flat at a 2.0. NBCU’s Access Hollywood eased 6% to a 1.7. Warner Bros.’ Extra also dropped 6% to a 1.6, after hitting a new season high in the prior week. CTD’s The Insider was steady at a 1.3.

Rounding out the field, Twentieth’s Dish Nation picked up 10% to a 1.1, while Trifecta’s OK! TV was flat at a 0.2.

Game shows were slow for the week but mostly up for the year. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune picked up 1% to a 7.3 to lead all of syndication, climbing 4% from last year at this time. CTD’s Jeopardy! dipped 1% to a 6.8, but gained 6% from last year. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was flat at a 6.3 but up 21% from a year ago. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire fell to a new season low 1.7, losing 6% from the prior week and 19% from last year at this time.

Meanwhile, MGM’s video variety show RightThisMinute fell 6% to a 1.6.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory was flat at a 6.0 to lead the off-net sitcoms. Twentieth’s Modern Family moved up 2% to a 4.2. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men and Twentieth’s Family Guy remained at a 3.1 and 2.5, respectively. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother slipped 4% to a 2.4, tying Warner Bros.’ newcomer Mike & Molly, which was flat. SPT’s Seinfeld held steady at a 2.0. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show slid 5% to a 1.8. Twentieth’s King of the Hill was flat at a 1.6, while Warner Bros.’ sophomore The Middle tumbled 13% to a 1.3.

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.