Syndication Ratings: Heading Into May Sweep, 'Dr. Phil' Solidifies Talk Lead

Led by CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil, all 14 talk shows were up or even in the final week before the start of the May sweep, which runs April 27 through May 24.

Phil climbed 10% to a 3.3 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, to top the talkers for the 33rd week in a row. Phil also was the only top-tier talker to grow compared to last year, moving up 6%, and led talk among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54 with a 1.5.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres tied at a 2.2 for second place, with Live steady and Ellen up 10% compared to the prior week. On Sunday, Ellen was named outstanding entertainment talk show at the Daytime Emmys in Pasadena, Calif.

On Monday, May 1, Kelly Ripa announced on Live that Ryan Seacrest would be her new co-host, teasing the announcement on Twitter on Sunday. Day one of Live with Kelly and Ryan on May 1 won its time period in eight of the top-ten markets, including all of the top five, averaging a 3.1 rating/11 share in the 56 metered markets, up 48% from the prior Monday. In the 25 local people meter markets, the show’s rating among women 25-54 jumped 44% from the prior Monday to a 1.3/11.

Related: Ryan Seacrest Named 'Live with Kelly' Co-Host

NBCUniversal’s Maury moved up 7% to fourth-place 1.6, edging out NBCU’s Steve Harvey, which was unchanged at a 1.5 for a fourth straight week and down 17% from last year at this time. At the Daytime Emmys on Sunday, host Harvey scored two big wins, having been named best informational talk show and best game show host. Next season, Harvey’s talker is moving to Los Angeles and changing production companies, with Shane Farley taking the helm as executive producer. The rebooted show will be named just Steve, with NBCUniversal Domestic Television Distribution continuing to distribute.

Related: Shane Farley to Executive Produce Steve Harvey's LA-based Talker, 'Steve'

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, airing new episodes, held steady at a 1.4.

The rest of the talkers all were tightly bunched within half a ratings point of each other.

NBCU’s conflict talkers Steve Wilkos and Jerry Springer tied at a 1.3, with Wilkos flat and Springer spiking 8%. CTD’s Rachael Ray remained at its season-low 1.2 for the fourth time in five weeks. Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, which on Sunday was named best informational talk show,stayed at its series low 1.1 for a second week and was off 15% from last year at this time. NBCU’s rookie Harry climbed 11% for the week to a 1.0, tying Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen, which also improved 11%.

CTD’s The Doctors and Warner Bros.’ The Real both held steady at a 0.8.

Four of the five magazines showed gains for the week. CTD’s Entertainment Tonight, named outstanding entertainment news program on Sunday, added 3% to a 3.0. CTD’s Inside Edition added 4% to a 2.7. Warner Bros.’ TMZ was unchanged at a 1.5 but was still down 17% from last year, the most of any magazine in the top six.

NBCU’s Access Hollywood recovered 17% from its season low set in the prior frame to a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ Extra improved 9% to a 1.2. CTD’s The Insider held steady at a 1.0.

Twentieth’s Dish Nation declined 13% to a 0.7, equalling its season low and dropping 30% from last year. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page logged its regular 0.3 for the 16th straight week.

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud dipped 2% to a 6.3, but made it one full year at number-one in the genre and was the runner up in overall syndication to CTD’s Judge Judy.

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune reversed course to add 5% to a 6.0. CTD’s Jeopardy!, named outstanding game show on Sunday,answered with a similar 5% gain to a 5.8. Harry Friedman, executive producer of both Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the Daytime Emmys.

Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire remained at a 1.6 for a third straight week. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game, which is ending its run after this season, stood pat at a 1.2.

Elsewhere, Disney-ABC’s viral video show RightThisMinute stayed at its season-low 1.3 for a second straight week.

At a steady 6.5, CTD’s Judge Judy led all of syndication for the fourth straight week even though the show was in reruns on all five days. Judge Judy also won its second Daytime Emmy as outstanding court or legal show at the Daytime Creative Arts Emmys last Friday night.

Related: Judge Judy's 'iWitness' to Launch on Select Fox Stations as Summer Test

CTD’s Hot Bench also was in repeats all week but was stable at a 2.2, tying Live and Ellen as the third-highest daytime strip.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis, Twentieth’s Divorce Court and Trifecta’s JudgeFaith all were flat at a 1.6, 1.2, 1.0 and 0.8, respectively.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory inched up 2% to a 4.7 to lead the off-net sitcoms. Twentieth’s Modern Family faded 8% to a 2.4. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men, Twentieth’s Family Guy, Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly, Twentieth’s Last Man Standing and Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls all were unchanged at a 2.3, 1.8, 1.7, 1.6 and 1.5, respectively.

Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show skidded 8% to a 1.2, tying SPT’s Seinfeld, which remained at its series low for the fifth week in a row. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother declined 8% to a 1.1, matching its series low and tying Twentieth’s King of the Hill, which was flat.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for more than 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for The Global Entertainment Marketing Academy of Arts & Sciences (G.E.M.A.). 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.