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Syndication Ratings: Entertainment Mags Finish Sweeps Strong

Entertainment magazines rose in the week ending Nov. 23 on the developing story that TV icon Bill Cosby drugged and sexually assaulted multiple women in the 70s and 80s.

In the final full week of the November sweep, CBS Television Distribution’s magazine leader Entertainment Tonight scored its highest ratings in 33 weeks, improving 6% from the prior session to a new season high 3.7 live plus same day household rating. NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood had its strongest performance in 10 weeks, surging 12% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.’ Extra posted its best performance since the week of Sept. 29, growing 7% to a 1.6. CTD’s The Insider spiked 17%, the biggest increase of any top-tier magazine to a new season high 1.4.

CTD’s Inside Edition, although not exclusively an entertainment magazine, gained 6% to a new season high 3.3, while Warner Bros.’ TMZ, also not a traditional entertainment magazine, was unchanged at a 2.0. Twentieth’s Dish Nation was flat at a 1.0, while Triefecta’s OK! TV was up 50% from a 0.2 to a 0.3.

In daytime, CTD’s Dr. Phil hit a new season high 3.9, the show’s biggest rating in 40 weeks. Phil was up 11% for the week and 18% for the year, while leading the category for the 12th consecutive frame. The 18% ratings improvement was the second-biggest ratings increase of any talker, exceeded only by Sony Pictures Television’s Queen Latifah, which goes out of production at the end of this month.

Among the key women 25-54 sales demo, Phil also finished first with an 18% increase from the prior session to a new season high 2.0. Warner Bros.’ Ellen came in second in the demo at a 1.7, up 6%, and followed by Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael at a 1.6, up 7%.

Live was second among the talkers in households, holding steady at a 3.1 and growing 11% from last year. Warner Bros.’ Ellen was flat for the week and year at a 2.9. NBCU’s Maury also was flat at a 2.1.

NBCU’s Steve Harvey hit its best numbers since March, rallying 5% to a new season high 2.0. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams remained at a 1.6 for the fifth straight week. SPT’s Dr. Oz dipped 6% to a 1.5, tying NBCU’s Steve Wilkos and CTD’s Rachael Ray, but grew 13% among women 25-54 to a 0.9. Wilkos slipped 6% for the week, while Ray rose 7% to a new season high 1.5. NBCU’s Jerry Springer remained at a 1.3.

Queen Latifah was unchanged at its season high 1.2, although the show’s 20% improvement over last year at this time was talk’s largest annual increase. CTD’s The Doctors improved 10% to a 1.1, while Meredith’s The Better Show was unchanged at a 0.2 for the seventh week of the past eight.

Among the rookie first-run shows, CTD’s Hot Bench remained at its series high 1.7 and led the field for the tenth week in a row. Among women 25-54, Hot Bench held steady at a 0.8, finishing in a first place in the demo with Warner Bros.’ young-skewing panel talker The Real, which also was flat at a 0.8.

NBCU’s already-renewed Meredith Vieira had its strongest show since its September premiere, ramping up 8% to a 1.3 household rating. In the demo, Meredith grew 17% to a 0.7, matching its highest performance among women 25-54.

Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game tied Meredith for second with an 8% increase to hit a new season high. Among women 25-54, the show was unchanged at a 0.7, also tying Meredith. Rounding out the field were The Real and Trifecta’s Judge Faith. The Real remained at a 1.0 in households for the eighth consecutive week, while Judge Faith was flat at a 0.7 in households, and slipped 25% to a 0.3 in the demo.

CTD’s Judge Judy led the courts, jumping to a new season high 7.5, advancing 1% from the prior week and tying CTD’s Wheel of Fortune to top all syndicated shows.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court followed at an unchanged 1.8. Twentieth’s Divorce Court climbed 7% to a 1.6, while Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis also improved 7% to a 1.5. MGM’s Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court lost 7% to a 1.3.

Wheel of Fortune and CTD’s Jeopardy! both turned in new season highs, with Wheel, like Judy, inching up 1% to a a 7.5, unchanged compared to last year. Jeopardy! added 3% for the week and 7% for the year to a 7.2. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud remained at its previous season high 6.4, up 16% from last year. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire appreciated 5% to a 2.0, but was down 5% from last year.

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

Among the off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory picked up 3% from the prior week to a 6.3. Twentieth’s Modern Family was flat at a 4.0. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved 3% lower to a 3.0. Twentieth’s Family Guy gained 8% to a new season high 2.7. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother declined 4% to a 2.4. Warner Bros.’ rookie Mike & Molly was unchanged at a 2.3. SPT’s Seinfeld spiked 6% to a 1.9. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show stayed at a 1.6. Warner Bros.’ The Middle was flat at a 1.5, tying Twentieth’s King of the Hill, which grew 7%.