Syndication Ratings: May Sweeps Off to Sleepy Start

The first full week of the May sweep, which runs April 26 through May 23, was slow off the block in the week ended May 6, with very few shows managing to show gains.

Twentieth’s Page Six TV and Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask were the only rookies to improve, while the top-three talkers — CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil, Disney-ABC’s Live With Kelly and Ryan and Warner Bros.’ The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Sony Pictures Television’s seventh-place Dr. Oz were the only four of the 14 veteran talkers to gain. Warner Bros.’ TMZ and NBCUniversal’s Access were the only magazines to increase. None of the courts or game shows moved up.

Among the first-run rookies, CTD’s DailyMailTV registered flat for the sixth straight at a 1.0 live plus same day average household rating and remained at a 0.5 among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54.

Page Six TV, in week eight of new host tryouts, tried going without a host and instead letting the core talent run the show. The show climbed 14% to a 0.8, matching its season high, while improving 25% among women 25-54 to a 0.5, tying DailyMailTV.

Funny You Should Ask jumped 25% to a 0.5 in households and was unchanged at a 0.2 in the demo. Disney-ABC’s Pickler & Ben, produced by Scripps, remained stable at a 0.3 for the 33rd consecutive week, with a 0.2 in the key demo.

Dr. Phil led the talk shows for the 87th week, with two ties, inching up 3% to a four-week high 3.3 in households, and led the talkers with a 1.3 among women 25-54.

Live and Ellen tied for second place for a third straight week with both shows growing 5% to a 2.2.

Most of the rest of the talkers were flat, although Dr. Oz recovered 10% from its series low set in the prior week to a 1.1 for a three-way tie with NBCU’s Jerry Springer and CTD’s RachaelRay for seventh place.

In fourth place among the talkers, NBCU’s Maury remained at a 1.4 for the ninth straight week. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, NBCU’s Steve and Steve Wilkos and Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen all held steady at a 1.3, 1.2, 1.0 and 0.9, respectively.

For the second straight week, NBCU’s Harry, Warner Bros.’ The Real and CTD’s The Doctors all tied at an unchanged 0.7.

CTD’s Judge Judy held steady at a 7.0 to remain the overall syndication leader for the 11th week in row.

The rest of the top five court shows all declined. CTD’s Hot Bench cooled 5% to a 2.2 to tie Ellen and Live to rank third in daytime. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court sank 7% to a new season low 1.4. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis moved down 9% to a 1.0. Twentieth’s Divorce Court eroded 11% to a 0.8, matching its series low. Trifecta’s Judge Faith was unchanged at a 0.6 for the sixth consecutive week.

Among the access magazines, TMZ rebounded 17% to a 1.4 while Access jumped 9% to a 1.2.

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight dipped 3% to a 2.9, tying sister show Inside Edition for the magazine lead as IE fell 6%.

Warner Bros.’ Extra held steady at a 1.1. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page remained at a 0.2.

The games were flat to down. Debmar-Mercury’s leader Family Feud fell 3% to a 6.3. CTD’s Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune and ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire all maintained at a 5.9, 5.8 and 1.6, respectively.

Disney-ABC’s viral video show RightThisMinute regained 8% to a 1.4, after slipping to a new season low in the prior frame. NBCU’s off-net true crime strip Dateline deteriorated 15% to a new series-low 1.1.

Warner Bros.’ off-net leader The Big Bang Theory remained at a 4.5. Twentieth’s Modern Family forged ahead 5% to a 2.1. Twentieth’s Last Man Standing, which will return on Fox next season, spiked 12% to a 1.9. 

Related: Fox Brings Back 'Last Man Standing'

SPT’s rookie The Goldbergs dropped back 6% to a 1.5, tying Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men, which slid 6% and matched its series low, and Twentieth’s flat Family Guy. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly skidded 7% to a new season low 1.3. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls gave back 8% to a 1.1, tying SPT’s Seinfeld, which recovered 10%. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show stayed at its series low 1.0 for the fourth straight week.

Warner Bros.’ off-net rookie Mom managed a steady 0.9 for a fourth straight week, while CTD’s The Game scored an unchanged 0.4 for the 13th time in 14 weeks.

Paige Albiniak

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.