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Syndication Ratings: 'Live' Drops Back to Earth in Michael Strahan's Penultimate Week

Viewers’ eyes were again glued to the tube as the seesaw saga of Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael continued in the week ended May 8, which included the first full week of the May sweep. 

The show’s ratings declined 14% in Michael Strahan’s penultimate week to a more typical 3.1 live plus same day household ratings average, according to Nielsen Media Research. While that was still an increase of 11% year to year that number returned Live to second place behind usual talk leader, CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil, which moved up 3% to a 10-week high 3.2. 

Among women 25-54, Live continued to lead talk, although it slipped 6% to a 1.6.

Live had surged 20% in the week ended May 1, enjoying a week at first place when Kelly Ripa returned to the show after taking a few days off to “process” Strahan’s full-time shift to Good Morning America. The show’s ratings are again expected to balloon next week, the week ended May 15, which includes Strahan’s final day on the show, Friday, May 13.

Related: Fred Savage, Seal, Andy Cohen to Join Kelly Ripa on 'Live'

In third place, Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres was off 4% to a 2.4. NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey stayed at a 1.9, but climbed 6% from last year at this time. 

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams weakened 6% to a 1.7 but was still up 6% year to year. NBCU’s Maury and CTD’s Rachael Ray were unchanged at a 1.6 and 1.5, respectively. However, Rachael improved 25% from last year, easily talk’s largest annual increase. 

NBCU’s Steve Wilkos was steady at a 1.4 and grew 8% from last year, tying Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, which lost 7%. NBCU’s Jerry Springer, CTD’s The Doctors, Warner Bros’ The Real and NBCU’s soon-to-end Meredith Vieira all were unchanged at a 1.2, 1.0, 1.0 and 0.8, respectively. 

Among the rookies, Warner Bros.’ leader Crime Watch Daily eased 10% to a 0.9. Of the two departing rookies, Disney-ABC’s FABLife lost 13% to a 0.7 and NBCU’s Crazy Talk was flat at a 0.5.

CTD’s Judge Judy inched up 1% to a 7.1, that show’s highest rating since the week of March 7. In addition, Judy jumped 9% from last year at this time to regain its position at the top of the syndication strips for the 18th time in the past 19 weeks.

CTD’s Hot Bench advanced 4% to a 2.5 and was the fourth-highest rated strip in daytime after only Judy, Phil and Live. Bench climbed 25% from last year.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was unchanged at a 1.8. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis skidded 7% to a 1.4. Twentieth’s Divorce Court, which just added new executive producer Monique Chenault, eroded 8% to a new season-low 1.1. Trifecta’s Judge Faith fell back 11% to a 0.8.

In access, nothing was in positive territory as levels of people using television declined as spring temperatures rose.

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud led the games for a second straight week, dipping 1% to a 7.0 to take second to Judge Judy on the overall chart. Feud was up 19% from the same week last year.

Related: Syndication Ratings: 'Live' Leaps 20% on Kelly Ripa's Return

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune slid 5% to a 6.3. CTD’s Jeopardy! softened 3% to a 5.9. Debar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game stood pat at a 1.4 and Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire trailed with a flat 1.3 for the ninth week in a row, which put it down 19% from last year.

MGM’s viral video show RightThis Minute lost 8% for the week and 21% from last year to a 1.1. 

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight led the magazines despite declining 6% to a 3.1. CTD’s InsideEdition slumped 3% to a 2.9. Warner Bros.’ TMZ, NBCU’s Access Hollywood and Warner Bros.’ Extra all held steady at a 1.8, 1.6 and 1.4, respectively; however, year to year Extra showed the most improvement among the top five, growing 8%. 

CTD’s The Insider gave back 8% to a 1.2. Twentieth’s Dish Nation and Trifecta’s Celebrity Page both were unchanged for the sixth week in a row at a 1.0 and 0.3, respectively. 

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory fell 4% to a new season-low 5.2, but remained the off-net sitcom leader by a long shot. Twentieth’s Modern Family was flat at a 3.0. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved down 4% to a 2.6. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls gained 5% to a 2.0. Twentieth’s Family Guy and Warner Bros.’ Mike and Molly both faded 5% to a 1.9. SPT’s Seinfeld stayed at a 1.8 for a fourth consecutive week. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show stood pat at a 1.6. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother sank 6% to a 1.5. Twentieth’s King of the Hill was flat at a 1.3. 

Paige Albiniak
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.