Syndication Ratings: Live Keeps Working for 'Live'

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael continued its summer winning streak in the week ending July 27 as the show topped a fairly robust talk-show group for the sixth time in the past seven weeks. Live, which was in originals all week, rose 4% from the prior session and 8% from the same week last year to a first-place 2.7 live plus same day household average, according to Nielsen Media Research.

All in all, it’s been a good couple of weeks for Live co-host Michael Strahan, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 2.

In general, syndie ratings were up after the prior week’s ratings were driven down due to heavy daytime news preemptions after the July 17 missile attack on a Malaysian jetliner that killed nearly 300 passengers and crew.

CBS Television Distribution’s season-to-date talk champion Dr. Phil, which was the only top-tier talker moving up from the prior week, was entirely in repeats and slipped 7% to a second-place 2.5. NBCUniversal’s Maury had the sharpest increase among the top 15 talkers, rebounding 12% from the previous week to a 1.9 to tie Warner Bros.’ Ellen, which added 6%.

Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz aired mostly repeats but still added 6% to a 1.7. NBCU’s Steve Harvey in reruns all week held steady at a 1.4. Disney-ABC’s Katie, in its last full week of original episodes, climbed 8% to a 1.4, tying Harvey and Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which weakened 7% in repeats to a 1.4. Meanwhile, compared to last year at this time, Katie was down 13%, while Wendy Williams was flat and Harvey was up 17%, the most annual growth of any talk show.

CTD’s Rachael Ray cooked up an 8% gain to a 1.3, even though it was in repeats for most of the week. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos was off 8% to a 1.2, tying NBCU’s Jerry Springer, which was flat. CTD’s The Doctors held steady at a 1.0. NBCU’s Trisha, which is ending its run, fell one-tenth of a ratings point, or 20%, to a 0.4. Meredith’s The Better Show recouped its loss from the prior session, moving up one-tenth of a ratings point to return to a 0.2, where the show has remained for 32 of the past 33 weeks.

Among the freshman crop, SPT’s Queen Latifah, the only show to earn a sophomore season, held steady at a 0.9 in mainly repeats. CTD’s The Test failed to hold its prior week’s 0.6, dropping 17%, or a tenth of a point to a 0.5, while Warner Bros.’ Bethenny remained at its season-low 0.5, tying CTD’s out-of-production Arsenio Hall, which was flat at a 0.5 for the sixth week in a row.

CTD’s Judge Judy jumped 6% for the week and 15% for the year to a 6.9. Judy, in repeats all week, remained atop of all of syndication for the 18th week in a row. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court picked up 6% to a 1.8. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis and Twentieth’s Divorce Court each were unchanged at a 1.4. Twentieth’s Judge Alex, which will soon leave the bench, climbed 8% to a 1.3. MGM’s freshman Paternity Court was flat at a 1.0.

CTD’s game-show leader Wheel of Fortune inched up 2% from the prior week to a 5.9. CTD’s Jeopardy! was flat at a 5.6. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud finished 2% higher at a 4.5. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire appreciated 5% to a 2.0, although the show fell 20% from last year.

Among magazines, CTD’s leader Entertainment Tonight showed the strongest hand among the top tier, spiking 7% to a 3.1, that show’s highest rating in four weeks. CTD’s Inside Edition recovered 4% to a 2.7. Warner Bros.’ TMZ and NBCU’s Access Hollywood were steady at a 1.7 and 1.4, respectively. Warner Bros.’ Extra dipped 8% to a 1.2, tying CTD’s The Insider, which was steady.

MGM’s RightThisMinute clocked a 1.1, up 10% for the week. Twentieth’s Dish Nation declined 9% to a 1.0, where the show has been for 12 of the past 13 weeks. Trifecta’s OK! TV was flat at a 0.3, tying Trifecta’s out-of-production America Now, which remained at a 0.3 for the tenth straight week.

Among the off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory, the stars of which just signed lucrative contracts through season 10, was unchanged week to week at a 5.4, but down 16% from last year at this time. Twentieth’s newcomer Modern Family recovered 9% to a 3.6. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men was flat at a 3.2. Twentieth’s Family Guy gained 7% to a 2.9. SPT’s Seinfeld strengthened 5% to a 2.0, tying Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother, which moved up 11%. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show sagged 5% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.’ Friends and Twentieth’s King of the Hill both were flat at a 1.7 and 1.6, respectively, while Warner Bros.’ The Middle advanced 7% to a 1.6, tying Twentieth’s King of the Hill.

Also during the week, the Fox Owned Stations launched the third of its summer tests during the week, with weekend show Laughs launching a 10-city, 13-week test on Aug. 2 and 3. The show premiered quietly with a 0.4 rating/1 share average in test markets, down 50% from its lead-in and 33% from its year ago time period average. Among adults 25-54, Laughs managed a 0.2/1, down 60% from its lead-in and 50% from its year-ago time periods.

Meanwhile, the Fox stations’ trial run of Hollywood Today Live averaged a 0.4/1 on nine Fox stations after three full weeks, down 50% from its average lead-in and down 42% from its year-ago time periods. The group's other test, The Daily Helpline, averaged a 0.1/0, down 66% from its lead-in and 80% from its year-ago time periods.

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.