Syndication Ratings: 'Live with Kelly and Ryan' Rings in New Year in Talk Lead

'Live with Kelly and Ryan' was one of the few syndicated shows to improve as the World Cup aired on Fox.
'Live with Kelly and Ryan,' hosted by Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest, has been the sole talk-show leader all season (Image credit: Disney/'Live with Kelly and Ryan')

Live with Kelly and Ryan remained syndication’s top talker in the rerun-filled holiday week ended January 1, racking up its 32nd straight first-place finish. That includes eight ties with CBS Media Ventures’  Dr. Phil, the most recent of which was in the week ending September 11. Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan led even though the show eased 11% from the prior week’s new season high to a 1.6 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen.

Live also topped the talkers among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54 with a 0.6, followed by Dr. Phil and Debmar-Mercury’s Sherri, which tied at a 0.4.

Dr. Phil, which like most daytime shows, was completely in reruns, receded 8% to a second-place 1.2.

The third highest-rated talker, NBCUniversal’s Kelly Clarkson, dipped 10% to a 0.9 but was one of only three talkers to outperform its ratings in the same week last year, improving 13%.

CBS’ Drew Barrymore, now airing in a two half-hour format, broke even at a 0.8 but strengthened 60% last year based on its new cumed household rating. Disney’s Tamron Hall held its own at a 0.7 and grew 17% from last year, tying CBS’ Rachael Ray, which held steady.

NBCUniversal’s Steve Wilkos added 20% to a 0.6 after five weeks at a 0.5. NBCU’s out-of-production Maury maintained a 0.5 for a fourth week, while NBCU’s Jerry Springer talk-court combo sprang up 33% to a 0.4 to match its season high.

The rookie talkers were a tight-knit bunch with all three holding their ground despite airing only repeats. Warner Bros.’ Jennifer Hudson and Sherri, both of which just scored renewals, were both steady at a 0.6, while NBCU’s Karamo, starring Karamo Brown, sustained its season high 0.4 for a second week.

This season’s holiday week between Christmas and the New Year is traditionally a low-viewing period saturated with reruns, specials and preemptions. With the exception of a few daytime programs, most strips were down or flat during the slow holiday week.

For example, the five highest-rated magazines all lost ground. CBS’ Inside Edition slumped 9% to a 2.1. CBS’ Entertainment Tonight tumbled 14% to a 1.9. NBCU’s Access Hollywood weakened 13% to a 0.7. Fox’s TMZ decreased 14% to a 0.6. Warner Bros.’ Extra declined 17% to a 0.5, while Fox’s Dish Nation continued to stall at a 0.2. 

CBS’ Jeopardy! -- which, with its sibling Wheel of Fortune, was just renewed for five more years on the ABC Owned Stations -- continued to lead the games and all of syndication even though it fell back 5% to a 5.2 for the week. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud moved into second place after trailing Wheel of Fortune for the prior four weeks, even  though it weakened 2% to a 5.0.  Wheel, meanwhile, slid 8% to a 4.8. 

Fox’s 25 Words or Less lost 13% to a 0.7, landing in a tie with Fox’s You Bet Your Life with host Jay Leno, which stayed put for a second week. CBS’ newcomer Pictionary starring Jerry O’Connell slipped 17% to a 0.5 after notching a new season high in the prior week. Allen Media Group’s Funny You Should Ask replied with a fourth straight 0.3.

Repeats of CBS’ out-of-production Judge Judy led the courts with a steady 4.2. CBS’ Hot Bench was the only syndicated strip above a 1.0 rating to rise for the week, gaining 8% to a six-week high 1.3 and hitting the chart as the number-three daytime show overall, behind Judy and Live

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis, Fox’s Divorce Court and Wrigley Media’s Relative Justice all were on par with the prior week’s 0.8, 0.6, 0.5 and 0.4, respectively.

Allen Media Group’s court show newcomer We the People with Judge Lauren Lake lodged a 0.3 for a sixth consecutive week. Trifecta’s rookie true-crime strip iCrime with Elizabeth Vargas, the host of which just scored a primetime gig on Nexstar’s News Nation, stayed at a 0.5 for a second week.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory faltered 15% to a 1.7 but remained the off-network sitcom leader. Disney’s Last Man Standing stumbled 17% to a 1.0. Disney’s Modern Family stood fast at a 0.8. Warner Bros.’ Young Sheldon shed 13% to a 0.7, tying Sony Pictures Television’s The Goldbergs, which was steady, and Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men, which was flat for a fifth straight week. Disney’s Family Guy, Sony’s Seinfeld and CBS’ newcomer The Neighborhood all continued to hover at a 0.6. Disney’s Black-ish boasted the category’s only increase, climbing 25% to a 0.5. ▪️

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.