Syndication Ratings: 'Family Feud' Keeps on Climbing

Debmar-Mercury's Steve Harvey-hosted Family Feud hit its third series high in the past four weeks, climbing to a 7.2 live plus same day household rating in the week ending Feb. 1. 

That's a 6% gain for the week and a 14% gain for the year, just one-tenth of a ratings point behind CBS Television Distribution's Jeopardy!

Perhaps more importantly, Family Feud is the clear syndication leader among women 25-54 at a 3.8, ahead of CTD's Judge Judy at a 3.1, CTD's Wheel of Fortune at a 2.6 and Jeopardy! at a 2.5.

Games, in general, were up for the week, with Wheel climbing 3% to a 7.6 and Jeopardy! adding 4% to a 7.3. Compared to last year at this time, Wheel was down 4% while Jeopardy! was up 1%. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was steady at a 1.8 in households, but down 18% from last year.   

Most syndicated shows were up or steady for the week, which included the first two weekdays of the February sweep running January 29 through February 25.

Of the top 13 talk shows, eight were up for the week, two were down and three held firm.

CBS Television Distribution’s season-to-date talk leader Dr. Phil set the pace, growing 6% to a 3.6 in households, according to Nielsen Media Research. That was Phil’s second highest rating of the season and its best showing since the week of Nov. 17, also during a sweeps period. Phil wasalso first in talk among women 25-54 with a steady 1.7.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael dropped 6% to a 3.1 in households, after being preempted in several markets, including New York, by coverage of snowstorm Juno on Jan. 27.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen rebounded 7% to a third place 3.0. NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey remained at its season high 2.1 for a second straight week. NBCU’s Maury rose 5% to a 2.0. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams was off 6% to a 1.7, after having to air a repeat due to the storm. Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz grew 7% to a 1.6, matching its season high. CTD’s Rachael Ray, which featured an interview with former President Bill Clinton on Jan. 29, spiked 7% to a 1.5. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos and Jerry Springer held steady at a 1.4 and 1.3, respectively.

CTD’s The Doctors strengthened 10% to a 1.1. SPT’s Queen Latifah, which will end its run next month, dropped 10% to a new season-low 0.9. Similarly, Meredith’s The Better Show, which will end after this season, faded 50% from a 0.2 to a 0.1.

Among the first-run rookies, CTD’s Hot Bench was the top first-run strip for the 20th straight week in households, holding firm at a 1.8. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game climbed 8% to a new season-high 1.4. NBCU’s Meredith Vieira and Warner Bros.’ The Real both gained 9% to a 1.2.

Among women 25-54, however, The Real led all rookies with an 11% gain to a 1.0, followed by Hot Bench at a steady 0.8 and Celebrity Name Game, which climbed 14% in the demo to a 0.8. Meredith was flat at a 0.6 in the target demo. Trifecta’s Judge Faith meanwhile was unchanged at a 0.8 in households, but dropped 20% to a 0.4 in the demo.

CTD’s Judge Judy was the supreme court show by a wide margin at a steady 7.1 Warner Bros.’ People’s Court recovered 6% to a 1.8. Twentieth’s Divorce Court and Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis were flat at a 1.6 and 1.5, respectively, while MGM’s sophomore Paternity Court gained 8% to a 1.3.

Elsewhere, MGM’s video variety show RightThisMinute was flat at a 1.5. 

Magazines were frequently preempted in the northeast due to storm coverage, and NBC affiliates also frequently preempted shows for pre-Super Bowl specials.

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight led the field, dipping 3% to a 3.5. CTD’s Inside Edition grew 3% to a 3.3. Warner Bros.’ TMZ edged ahead 5% to a 2.1. NBCU’s Access Hollywood, Warner Bros.’ Extra and CTD’s The Insider were flat at a 1.8, 1.5 and 1.3, respectively.

Further back, Twentieth’s Dish Nation added 10% to a 1.1, while Trifecta’s OK! TV climbed 50% to a 0.3 from a 0.2.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory made some noise in off-net sitcoms, notching a new season high for the second straight week with a 3% uptick to a 6.8. In second place, Twentieth’s Modern Family fell 2% to a 4.1. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved up 3% to a 3.2. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother added 17% to a new season-high 2.7. Warner Bros.’ newcomer Mike & Molly rose 8% to a 2.6. Twentieth’s Family Guy gave back 4%, sliding to a 2.5. SPT’s Seinfeld improved 5% to a 2.2. Warner Bros.’ The Middle climbed 5% to a 2.0, while Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show and Twentieth’s King of the Hill were flat at a 1.8 and 1.6, respectively.

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.