Syndication Ratings: ‘Live’, ‘Ellen’, ‘Steve’ Start Season Up

A trio of top talkers, Disney-ABC's Live With Kelly and Ryan, WarnerBros.' The Ellen DeGeneres Show and NBCUniversal’s Steve, started their 2018-19 seasons on a positive note in the session ending Sept. 9.

However, the week, which included the low rated Labor Day holiday on Sept. 3, was a quiet one for most other strips. Of course, the vast majority of shows in first-run will hold off on their season premieres for a week or two.

Live With Kelly and Ryan got the 31st season of the Live franchise underway with an 11% leap from the previous session to a six-week high 2.1 live plus same day national rating, according to Nielsen.

Related: Endemol Shine North America Developing First-Run Shows With Essence, Angie Martinez

That was second only to customary leader CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil, which had not yet begun its 17th season and was in reruns for part of the frame. In any case, Phil topped all talk shows for the 105th straight week, including two ties, despite a 4% dip to a 2.7. Among women 25-54, Phil was again first in talk with a 1.1 in the key demo.

In third place, Ellen DeGeneres returned to original episodes and debuted its 16th season, rallying 13% to a 1.8. However, the show’s weekly rating included Labor Day, a day in which Ellen’s coverage dropped significantly. On Sept. 4, which was the strip’s season premiere, it grew 25% to a 2.0 individual day rating. 

NBCU's Maury moved down 8% to a 1.2. However, Steve Harvey’s Steve strengthened 27% to an individual day rating of 1.4 with its second season premiere on Tuesday, Sept. 4. Like Ellen, the weekly rating for Steve was trimmed to a 1.1 as Nielsen included Labor Day in the show’s average despite a sharp drop in coverage.

Related: 'Jeopardy!' to Host First-Ever All-Star Games

Outside of the top five, NBCU's Steve Wilkos and CTD's Rachael Ray both stayed at a 1.0. NBCU's out-of-production conflict talker Jerry Springer sagged 10% to a 0.9. Warner Bros.' Crime Watch Daily With Chris Hansen and Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams both held steady at a 0.8, tying Sony Pictures Television's Dr. Oz, which eroded 11% to a new series low 0.8.

CTD's The Doctors recovered 17% to a 0.7. NBCU's Harry, preparing to exit, slid 17% to a 0.5, tying Warner Bros.' The Real, which remained at a 0.5. And for the 11th week in a row, ratings for Disney-ABC's Pickler & Ben, which is produced by E.W. Scripps, were reprocessed and not available.

Meanwhile, national ratings for panel talker CTD's Face the Truth, the only fully cleared newcomer to first-run to debut so far this season, will not be available for another week. But the show had a solid start in many key markets in the session ending Sept. 16, despite the effects of Hurricane Florence, which wiped out power for more than a million households and caused mass evacuations in some cities. For example, the strongest performance for Truth in the top 10 markets, came in Atlanta, where the show averaged a 1.4 rating/6 share at 2 a.m. on WSB, which was up 27% from its year ago time period.

Related: Slow Syndie Season Yields Just Two New Series

Back in the national ratings for the week ending Sept. 9 among court rooms, CTD's Judge Judy, which had not yet begun its new season and was in repeats for part of the session, eased 7% from a 12-week high in the prior frame to a still top-rated 6.2 and outperformed all first-run and off-net programs in households for the sixth straight week.

CTD's Hot Bench, which was almost completely in reruns, held steady at a 2.0. Warner Bros.' People’s Court and Judge Mathis were flat at 1.4 and 1.0, respectively. Twentieth's Divorce Court rebounded 14% to a 0.8 and Trifecta's Judge Faith was unchanged at a 0.5 for the fifth consecutive week.

Magazines, many of which had not yet launched their new seasons, were mostly steady to higher although some shows were peppered with preemptions for Thursday Night Football.

Related: Three Hosts Join Tegna's 'Daily Blast Live' Team

CTD's Inside Edition added 4% to a 2.8 and just edged CTD sister show Entertainment Tonight, which also grew 4% to a 2.7. Warner Bros.' TMZ, NBCU's Access, Warner Bros.' Extra, CTD's DailyMailTV, Twentieth's Page Six TV, and Trifecta's Celebrity Page all held firm at 1.2, 1.1, 1.0, 0.9, 0.7, and 0.2, respectively.

In addition, several entertainment magazines rose among women 25-54 with reports on the life and death of Burt Reynolds. 

In the key demo, ET gained 9% to a 1.2. Access jumped 20% to a 0.6. While Extra and DailyMail both delivered a 25% increase to a 0.5. 

Related Lauren Lake, Myeshia Mizuno Tapped as Executive Producers of ‘Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court’

Elsewhere in access, none of the game shows made it into positive territory. Leader Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud faded 2% to a 6.0. CTD's Wheel of Fortune was flat at a 5.3. What was CTD's Jeopardy! was the answer to the question what show slipped 2% to a 5.1. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire devalued 7% to a 1.4 and Entertainment Studios' Funny You Should Ask was unchanged at a 0.5 for the eighth consecutive week.

Meanwhile, Disney-ABC's viral video show RightThisMinute clocked an 8% increase to a 1.3 and NBCU's off-net true-crime strip Dateline held steady at a 1.1.

Among off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' leader Big Bang Theory heated up 5% to a 4.2. Twentieth's Last Man Standing stood pat at a 2.0. Twentieth's Modern Family forged ahead 6% to a 1.9. SPT's The Goldbergs gave back 7% to a 1.4, tying Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men, which moved up 8% to a 1.4. Twentieth's Family Guy tumbled 19% to a 1.3. Warner Bros.' Mike & Molly skidded 8% to a 1.2. Warner Bros.' 2 Broke Girls and SPT's Seinfeld both slipped 9% to a 1.0. While Warner Bros.' Mom and Twentieth's The Cleveland Show both stayed at a 0.9.

Jessika Walsten

Jessika is an analyst for TVREV and Fabric Media. She previously served in various roles at Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV, working with the brands since 2013. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects in the media and entertainment space, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.