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Syndication Ratings: 'Live' Rises on Constant Coverage of Pending Strahan Exit

Headed into the TV season’s final ratings period, the May sweeps, many shows turned to repeats and were flat to down, with only a few exceptions in the week ending April 24.

One notable exception was Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael, which has been steadily in the news since Disney announced on April 19 that co-host Michael Strahan would be decamping for ABC’s Good Morning America come fall. 

Related: Michael Strahan to Exit 'Live' on May 13

Kelly Ripa, less than happy with the news and the late manner in which it was delivered to her, opted to take a few days off to “process.” When she returned on April 26, the show’s overnight ratings jumped 62% and ratings are expected to remain high through Strahan’s departure, which was moved up to May 13. On May 1, Ripa and Strahan again made news by sharing the Daytime Emmy for outstanding entertainment talk show hosts.

Related: 'Live' Overnight Ratings Up 62% on Ripa's Return

In the week ended April 24, in which Ripa was out for three of the five days, Live climbed 3% for the week to a 3.0 live plus same day household average to finish second in households to CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil, but just barely.

Phil led the talkers for the 16th consecutive week, including one tie with Live, at a 3.1. Phil and Live tied for first, however, in daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54 at a 1.4.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres declined 4% to a 2.2 in households, just a tenth of a ratings point above its season-low 2.1, first hit three weeks earlier. NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey came in fourth, holding steady at a 1.8.

NBCU’s Maury slipped 6% to a 1.6 to tie Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which was flat. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos was unchanged at a 1.4, but grew 8% from last year at this time, talk’s largest annual increase.

Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz sank 7% to a 1.3, tying CTD’s Rachael Ray, which receded 13%. NBCU’s Jerry Springer gave back 8% to a 1.2. CTD’s The Doctors and Warner Bros.’ The Real both were off 10% to a 0.9 and NBCU’s soon-to-depart Meredith Vieira stayed at a 0.8.

Warner Bros.’ rookie Crime Watch Daily held steady at a 1.0, while daytime’s other rookies, Disney-ABC’s FABLife and NBCU’s Crazy Talk, neither of which will return for second seasons, remained at a 0.7 and 0.5, respectively.

CTD’s Judge Judy, in reruns for the week, dipped 3% to a 6.7 but still led all syndicated strips. Judy was named outstanding legal/courtroom program at the Daytime Emmys on May 1.

CTD’s Hot Bench was in repeats on four of the five days and eased 4% to a 2.4, but still ranked fourth in daytime. The court panel climbed 33% compared to last year at this time, showing the most annual growth of any strip in syndication.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis both were flat at a 1.9 and 1.5, respectively. Twentieth’s Divorce Court eroded 8% to a 1.2, while Trifecta’s Judge Faith faded 11% to a 0.8. 

The death of music legend Prince boosted CTD’s Entertainment Tonight and CTD’s Inside Edition to the only increases in access. 

ET jumped 6% to a five-week high of 3.3, while Inside Edition added 3% to a 3.0. Warner Bros.’ TMZ, NBCU’s AccessHollywood, which will soon lose long-time host Billy Bush to NBC’s Today, and Warner Bros.’ Extra, which just won the Daytime Emmy for outstanding entertainment news program, all held steady at a 1.8, 1.6 and 1.4, respectively.  CTD’s The Insider gave back 8% to a 1.1.

Twentieth’s Dish Nation and Trifecta’s Celebrity Page, rebranded from OK! TV, both were flat at a 1.0 and 0.3, respectively. 

The games were all down. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune skidded 5% to a 6.3. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud fell 6% to a 6.1. CTD’s Jeopardy! slumped 2% to a 5.9. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game softened 7% to a 1.3, tying Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which was unchanged for the week but down 24% from last year.

MGM’s viral video show RightThisMinute slowed down 8% for the week to a 1.1, a 21% loss from last year.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory dropped 5% to a 5.3. Twentieth’s Modern Family shrank 3% to a 3.0. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved down 4% to a 2.6. Twentieth’s FamilyGuy, Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly and Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls each slipped 5% to a three-way tie at a 2.0. SPT’s Seinfeld stayed at a 1.8. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show perked up 6% to a 1.7. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother was unchanged at a 1.6. Twentieth’s King of the Hill climbed 8% to a 1.4.