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Syndication Ratings: With the Madness of March Behind Them, Syndies Return to Stability

Syndies were mostly back to regular scheduling in the week ended April 3 with March Madness near its end and news preemptions at a minimum, but weeks of repeats, spring sunshine and daylight saving time kept ratings for most shows down or flat.

CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil had talk’s largest weekly increase, adding 15% to a first-place 3.1 live plus same day household ratings average, according to Nielsen Media Research, even though the show was in repeats on two of the five days. Phil also grew 3% compared to last year at this time. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, the show gained 25% to a first-place 1.5.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael, ratings for which were reprocessed by Nielsen in the prior week, held steady with its rating from two-weeks prior at a 2.9, even though the show was in a rare week of non-live episodes.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres, in repeats for the week, dropped to a new season-low 2.1, declining 9% for the week and 16% from last year. 

NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey and Maury both spiked 6% for the week to a 1.9 and 1.7, respectively, with Harvey adding 12% from last year, the biggest annual increase of any talker, and Maury easing 11% from last year, but still hitting a five-week high.

CTD’s Rachael Ray, NBCU’s SteveWilkos and Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz all tied at a 1.4, with Ray giving back 7% for the week but improving 8% from last year; Wilkos steady for the week and up 8% from last year; and Oz flat in both instances.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams weakened 19% for the week and year to a 1.3 with a week of repeats.

NBCU’s Jerry Springer and CTD’s The Doctors both were flat for the week at a 1.2 and 1.0, respectively, with Springer slipping 8% from last year and The Doctors holding steady.

NBCU’s Meredith Vieira, which is ending its run, gained 13% to a 0.9, although the show was still off 10% compared to last year. Warner Bros.’ The Real, just renewed for two more seasons, eroded 11% for the week to a new season-low 0.8 with a week of repeats. The Real also was down 27% for the year, the biggest annual decline of any talker.

Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily, the only rookie of this year’s crop to be returning for a second season, held steady at a 1.0. Disney-ABC’s FABLife rebounded 14% to a 0.8, while NBCU’s Crazy Talk remained at a 0.5.

CTD’s Judge Judy advanced 4% for the week and 9% for the year to a syndication-leading 7.0 despite being in repeats on four of the five days. CTD’s Hot Bench grew 8% for the week and 53% from last year to a 2.6, and ranked fourth in daytime behind Judy, Phil and Live

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court, Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis, Twentieth Divorce Court and Trifecta’s Judge Faith all were flat for the week at a 1.8, 1.5 and 1.2 and 0.9, respectively.   

In access, nearly all of the game shows improved from the prior week when they faced preemptions and competition from NCAA basketball.

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud and CTD’s Wheel of Fortune tied for the lead at a 6.7, with Feud up 5% for the week and Wheel up 18%. CTD’s Jeopardy! had 15% more buzz at a 6.3 for second place. 

Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game improved 8% to a 1.4. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was unchanged for the week at a 1.3. 

MGM’s viral video show, RightThisMinute, sped up 9% for the week to 1.2, although the show was down 14% from last year at this time.

Entertainment magazines were generally stable. CTD’s leader Entertainment Tonight,which just added a new co-executive producer, dipped 3% to a 3.2. CTD’s Inside Edition recovered 7% to a 2.9 after matching its season-low in the prior week. Warner Bros.’ TMZ, NBCU’s Access Hollywood, Warner Bros.’ Extra and CTD's The Insider all were steady at a 1.8, 1.6, 1.4 and 1.2, respectively. Twentieth's Dish Nation added 11% to a 1.0 after seven straight weeks at a 0.9.

Trifecta’s OK! TV, which had fallen to a 0.2 in the prior frame, did not appear on the Nielsen chart this week.

The top-four off-net sitcoms — Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory, Twentieth’s Modern Family, Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men and Twentieth’s Family Guy — all were unchanged at a 5.8, 3.2, 2.7 and 2.1, respectively. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly moved up 5% to a 2.1, tying Family Guy. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls grew 11% to a 2.0. SPT’s Seinfeld sprinted 12% to a 1.9. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show remained at a 1.7. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother was greeted with a 21% decline to a 1.5, while Twentieth’s King of the Hill was flat at a 1.4.