Syndication Ratings: Magazines, Talkers Remain on Oscar High

Syndies mostly avoided the downturn that follows sweeps in the week ending March 9, with entertainment magazines and talkers both given an assist by the highly viewed 86th Annual Academy Awards on March 2.

CBS Television Distribution’s Entertainment Tonight finished first with a 4.0 live plus same day Nielsen household average, up 3% from the prior week and up 8% from last year at this time. On Monday, March 3, the show also climbed 26% from the previous session to a 4.9 with its post-Oscar coverage.

CTD’s Inside Edition also added 3% for the week and year to a 3.3, while picking up 13% to a 3.6 on March 3. NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood, which had posted gains during the recently concluded Sochi Winter Olympics, held steady for both the week and year at a 1.9. Following the Oscars, Access spiked 26% to a 2.4 on March 3. Warner Bros.’ TMZ dropped 5% from the prior frame, and lost 10% from last year. Following the awards on Monday, which TMZ doesn’t really cover, the show improved 5% to a 2.1. CTD’s The Insider saw the category’s largest increase, gaining 14% for the week and year to a 1.6, while growing 29% to a 1.8 on March 3. Warner Bros.’ Extra slipped 6% for the week to a 1.6, while holding firm for the year. On March 3, Extra shot up 24% to a 2.1.

MGM’s RightThisMinute, Twentieth's Dish Nation, Trifecta's America Now, which won't continue after this season, and Trifecta's rookie OK! TV all were flat at a 1.2, 1.0, 0.4 and 0.2, respectively.

In daytime, CTD’s Dr. Phil led the talkers for the 28th time in the past 31 weeks, dipping 3% for the week to a 3.5, but gaining 13% from last year at this time. Phil also topped daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, growing 5% to a 2.0.

Disney/ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael, which was a big player in the post-Oscar sweepstakes, advanced 10% for the week to a 3.3 and improved 22% from last year at this time. On March 3, Live’s live post-Oscar show from the Dolby Theater leaped 47% to a 4.4.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen, who hosted the Academy Awards and followed up with coverage on her talk show, picked up 7% for the week to a 3.0. On March 3, Ellen gained 54% to a 4.3.

Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz was steady in fourth place at a 2.2. NBCU’s Maury, in fifth place, gave back 9% to a 2.0.

NBCU’s Steve Harvey eased 5% for the week to a 1.8, but still showed the second largest year-to-year increase of any talk show, surging 38% from last year at this time. Disney/ABC’s Katie, which won’t return for a third season, was flat for the week at a 1.7.

CTD’s Rachael Ray scored talk’s largest week-to-week increase, rallying 13% to a 1.7 and matching its season high. Ray also gained 25% among women 25-54 to a 1.0 in the key demo. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos was steady at a 1.5. NBCU’s Jerry Springer spiked 8% to a 1.4, equalling its season high and tying Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which weakened 13% for the week, but still gained 40% year to year, the most of any talker.

CTD’s The Doctors climbed 8% to a 1.3, while NBCU’s Trisha yielded 17% to a 0.5 and Meredith’s The Better Show was unchanged at a 0.2.

SPT’s Queen Latifah led the rookies at a steady 1.0. Warner Bros.’ Bethenny, which will end its run after this season, and CTD’s The Test both were flat at a 0.8 and 0.6, respectively. In late-night, CTD’s Arsenio Hall, which got a nice boost from a full show with special guest Prince on March 5, held steady at a 0.8.

Among the court shows, which were the February sweep’s hottest performers, CTD’s Judge Judy continued to preside with a 7.8, down 3% for the week but up 7% from last year. Judy also was the highest-rated show in syndication for the 26th time in the last 28 weeks.

Running a distant second, Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was flat at a 2.0. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis was flat at a 1.7, tying Twentieth’s Judge Alex, which was down 6% but showing the most growth of any courtroom, improving 31% from last year at this time. Twentieth’s Divorce Court and MGM’s Paternity Court both were flat at a 1.6 and 1.1, respectively.

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune slowed 3% from the prior week to a 7.3. CTD’s Jeopardy! was flat at a 7.1. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud faded 2% to a 5.8, while Disney/ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire upticked 4% to a 2.4.

The off-net sitcoms, which had a rough February, were mostly flat to down. Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory declined 3% from the previous session to a 6.4. Twentieth’s newcomer Modern Family fell 8% to a 4.6. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men slipped 5% to a 3.8. Twentieth’s Family Guy was flat at a 3.0. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother moved up 5% to a 2.2. SPT’s Seinfeld stayed at a 1.9. Twentieth’s animated rookie, The Cleveland Show, dropped 5% to a 1.8, tying Warner Bros.’ Friends, which was flat.

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.