Syndication Ratings: Ellen’s Early Premiere Pays Dividends

Warner Bros.’ Ellen reaped the rewards of its early premiere in the week ending Sept. 9, the last week prior to syndication’s premieres.

Many other syndicated shows saw week-to-week dips due to the Labor Day holiday and pre-emptions due to CBS’ coverage of the U.S. Open tennis championships.

Ellen, which premiered its fifth season Sept. 4, was up 43% from the prior week to a 2.0 household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. That’s Ellen’s best number in 14 weeks, most of which were spent in repeats. Ellen’s season premiere -- taped at New York’s Lincoln Center and featuring Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) -- jumped 57% from the prior week to a 2.2.

Most of the other talkers also fared well. CBS’ The Oprah Winfrey Show remained at the head of the class at a 4.5 but was flat for the week. CBS’ Dr. Phil gained ground, moving up 6% to a 3.8, the show’s highest rating in eight weeks despite still being in repeats. Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis and Kellypremiered its 20th season and was up 16% to a 2.9.

NBC Universal’s Jerry Springer jumped 7% on the week to a 1.5. Warner Bros.’ Tyra increased 20% to a 1.2. And NBC Universal’s The Martha Stewart Show rose 11% to a 1.0. All of the other talkers were unchanged week to week except NBC U’s Maury, which fell 5% to a 1.9.

The top three court shows were all down week-to-week. CBS’ Judge Judy lost 4% to a 4.4. CBS’ Judge Joe Brown slid 7% to a 2.5. And Warner Bros.’ People’s Court fell 4% to a 2.4.

NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood and Warner Bros.’ Extra! each saw gains for the week, with Access jumping 10% to a 2.3 and Extra! gaining 6% to a 1.8. CBS’ Entertainment Tonight remained No. 1 at a 4.0, dipping just 2%. CBS’ Inside Edition at a 2.9 was down 3%. CBS’ The Insider was unchanged at a 2.1.

Among the games, CBS’ Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! both were largely steady, with Wheel dipping 3% to a 6.3 and Jeopardy! picking up 2% to a 5.3. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire added 4% to a 2.9. And Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was flat at a 1.6.

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.