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Syndication Ratings: 'Live' Leaps 20 Percent on Kelly Ripa’s April 26 Return

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael surged 20% in the week ended May 1, which was the week in which Kelly Ripa returned to the show after taking a few days off to “process” the pending departure of Michael Strahan to go to Good Morning America full time.

That jump marked the largest weekly and annual increase of any strip in syndication. Live hit a new season-high 3.6 live plus same day national Nielsen rating in households, a 24% increase from last year at this time.

That also bumped CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil out of talk’s top spot for the first time since the week of Dec. 28, 2015. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Live also led, climbing 21% to a 1.7.

On Tuesday, April 26, the day that Ripa returned, the show earned a 4.4 in households. 

Related: 'Live' Lines Up Co-Hosts as Michael Strahan Prepares to Depart

For its part, Dr. Phil was unchanged at a 3.1 for the week, and grew 7% among women 25-54 to a second-place 1.5. 

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres perked up 14% to a third-place 2.5, after two straight weeks of declines. Ellen also came in third in the demo, bouncing back 18% to a 1.3. 

NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey strengthened 6% to a five-week high 1.9 and added 13% among women 25-54 to a 0.9. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams rallied 13% to a 1.8 and came in fourth in the demo, rising 9% to a 1.2. NBCU’s Maury was unchanged at a 1.6 for the week.

CTD’s Rachael Ray rose 15% to a 1.5, and also improved 15% from last year, the second largest annual increase in talk after Live. In addition, Rachael Ray ratcheted up 33% in the demo to a 0.8.

Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz also gained 15% for the week, tying Rachael and hitting its highest rating since the February sweep. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos was steady at a 1.4 and grew 8% from last year, talk’s third-highest annual increase. NBCU’s Jerry Springer stayed at a 1.2. CTD’s The Doctors and Warner Bros.’ The Real both rebounded 11% to a 1.0. NBCU’s soon-to-exit Meredith Vieira was flat at a 0.8.

Warner Bros.’ rookie, Crime Watch Daily, tied Warner Bros.’ The Real and CTD’s The Doctors at a steady 1.0. Disney-ABC’s FABLife recovered 14% to a 0.8, while NBCU’s Crazy Talk remained at a 0.5. Neither FABLife nor Crazy Talk will return for a second season.

CTD’s court leader Judge Judy jumped 4% to a 7.0, but lost the overall syndication lead for the first time in the past 17 weeks. Instead, Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud took the lead for the first time this season at a 7.1, a 16% increase for the week and a 20% increase for the year.  Family Feud also led all of first-run syndication among women 25-54 at a 3.5. 

CTD’s Hot Bench was unchanged for the week at a 2.4, but up 20% from last year at this time.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court fell 5% to a 1.8. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis and Twentieth’s Divorce Court, which just named a new executive producer, each were flat at a 1.5 and 1.2, respectively. Trifecta’s Judge Faith recovered 13% to a 0.9.

Beyond the week’s syndie leader Family Feud, CTD’s Wheel of Fortune added 5% to a 6.6. CTD’s Jeopardy! edged ahead 3% to a 6.1 to take the top-three spots among the games.

Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game gained 8% to a 1.4. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire remained at a 1.3 for the eighth week in a row and was down 19% compared to last year at this time.

MGM’s viral video show RightThisMinute improved 9% to a 1.2, although it was still down 14% from last year at this time.

The magazines were stable, with CTD’s Entertainment Tonight and Inside Edition, Warner Bros.’ TMZ, NBCU’s Access Hollywood and Warner Bros.’ Extra all standing pat at a 3.3, 3.0, 1.8, 1.6 and 1.4, respectively. However, year to year, Extra had the most growth among the top five, improving 8%.

Related: 'Today''s Natalie Morales to Become Host of 'Access Hollywood,' 'Access Hollywood Live'

CTD’s The Insider added 18% to a 1.3, the best weekly hike in the category and that show’s highest rating since the week of March 7.

Twentieth’s Dish Nation and Trifecta’s Celebrity Page both were unchanged at a 1.0 and 0.3, respectively. 

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory upticked 2% to lead the off-net sitcoms at a 5.4. Big Bang also tied Family Feud for the syndication lead among women 25-54 at a 3.5.  

Twentieth’s Modern Family was flat in households at a 3.0. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved up 4% to a 2.7. Twentieth’s Family Guy and Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly both remained at a 2.0. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls gave back 5% to a 1.9. SPT’s Seinfeld stayed at a 1.8 for a third straight week. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show slid 6% to a 1.6, tying Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother, which was flat. Twentieth’s King of the Hill declined 7% to a 1.3.

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.