Syndication Ratings: 'Live' Proves Power of Live TV With Holiday Uptick

Christmas was good to Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael, which was one of very few shows to grow during the slow week ended Dec. 27.

Demonstrating the power of live television, Live topped the talkers for the first time since the week ended Aug. 10, matching its season high with a 3.1 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, and up 3% for the week. Live also improved 13% to a 1.7 to lead the talkers among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54. 

Warner Bros.’ Ellen, which was just renewed through 2020 by the NBC owned stations, came in second with a 15% drop to a 2.2, tying its season low. 

CBS Television Distribution’s usual leader Dr. Phil declined 32% with a week of reruns to a new season-low 2.1.

NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey and Maury tied at a 1.7, with Harvey slipping 11% and Maury holding steady. 

CTD’s Rachael Ray rallied 8% to a 1.4, tying its season high. Rachael also rose 17% in the demo to a 0.7.

NBCU’s Steve Wilkos gave back 13% to a 1.3, tying Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, which recovered 8% from its series low in the previous week to a 1.3. Next Monday and Tuesday, Oz will host Charlie Sheen, who admitted he was HIV-positive on the Today show in November, in an attempt to help the beleaguered star recover his health.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams weakened 25% to a new season low 1.2, tying NBCU’s Jerry Springer, which was flat.

Warner Bros.’ The Real eroded 18% to a 0.9, tying CTD’s The Doctors and NBCU’s Meredith Vieira, both of which were steady. Meredith will end its two-year run in May as NBC owned stations in four markets add local news at 4 p.m.

Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily continued to lead the rookies for the 15th consecutive week, including two ties, holding at a 0.9. Disney-ABC’s FABLife and NBCUniversal’s Crazy Talk remained tied at a steady 0.7. Among women 25-54, Crime Watch and Crazy Talk remained tied at a 0.5, while FABLife improved 33% to a 0.4.

The four-week test of Security Brief with Paul Viollis averaged a 0.5 rating/1 share in 18 metered markets at the test’s halfway mark. This was down 17% from its average year-ago time period performance in household ratings and down 50% among women 25-54 to a 0.2/1 from a 0.4/2.

Another trial run, Warner Bros.’ South of Wilshire, from the producers of TMZ, began this week on several Fox stations. After two days, the test averaged a 0.3 rating/1 share in 11 metered markets, down 57% from its year-ago time period average (0.7/2) and down 50% among women 25-54, dropping to a 0.2/1 from a 0.4/2.

CTD’s Judge Judy, also in repeats, saw its ratings retreat 21% to a new season-low 5.8, still 4% ahead of last year at this time. 

CTD’s Hot Bench eased 9% to a 2.1, and was up 50% over its debut season last year. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court lost 11% to a 1.6. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis sagged 7% to a 1.4. MGM’s Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court and Twentieth’s Divorce Court each added 8% to a 1.3, while Trifecta’s Judge Faith was flat at a 0.8.

In access, game shows were soft with CTD’s Wheel of Fortune falling 11% to a 6.3. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud also faded 11% to a 5.8, tying CTD’s Jeopardy!, which was off 9%. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game backtracked 8% to a 1.2, tying Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which was flat for the week and down 29% from last year at this time. 

Meanwhile, MGM’s viral video show, RightThisMinute, stood pat for the week at a 1.0, but was down 33% from last year.

The magazines were all lower or flat during the holiday lull.

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight slipped 13% to a 2.7. CTD’s Inside Edition tumbled 10% to a 2.6. Warner Bros.’ TMZ slumped 6% to a 1.6. NBCU’s Access Hollywood receded 18% to a new season-low 1.4. Warner Bros.’ Extra relinquished 14% to a new season-low 1.2. CTD’s The Insider yielded 17% to a 1.0. Twentieth’s Dish Nation deteriorated 10% to a 0.9, while Trifecta’s OK! TV was flat at a 0.2.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory skidded 7% to a 5.7. Twentieth’s Modern Family fell 9% to a 3.0. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved down 4% to a 2.7. Twentieth’s Family Guy grew 5% to a 2.3. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly faltered 5% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.’ freshman 2 Broke Girls shrank 10% to a new season-low 1.8, tying SPT’s Seinfeld, which was steady. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother slid 6% to a 17, while The Cleveland Show and King of the Hill were both flat at a 1.6 and 1.3, respectively. 

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.