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Syndication Ratings: 'Meredith' Drops a Bit on Day Two

After two days, NBCUniversal’s Meredith Vieira, the first of the major new syndicated shows to premiere, averaged a 1.6 rating/5 share two-day preliminary primary-run household average in the overnight metered markets, according to Nielsen Media Research.

In households, Meredith is up 23% compared to its year-ago time periods (1.3/4), but it’s down 15% compared to its lead-ins (1.9/6). In most of the large markets, including the top five, soap operas such as Days of Our Lives and General Hospital lead in to the show. The show also fell off a bit from day one to day two, dipping to a 1.5/5 on Tuesday.

Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Meredith averaged a 0.5/4 over the two days, down 16% from last year (0.6/4) and down 50% from its lead-in (1.0/7). Compared to recent talk premieres, Meredith debuted lower in households than Disney-ABC’s Katie (2.8/7) in 2012, Sony Pictures Television’s Queen Latifah (1.7/5) in 2013 and SPT’s Dr. Oz in 2009(2.1/6), although it opened higher than NBCU’s Steve Harvey, which debuted at a 1.5/4 in 2012.

Meredith won its time period in five of the top 25 markets, Atlanta, Detroit, Sacramento, Calif., Portland, Ore., and Charlotte, N.C. The show also posted day one to day two increases of 40% on WTHR Indianapolis at 11 a.m. with a 5.2/15, and 35% on KCRA Sacramento at 2 p.m. with a 2.7/8.

Veteran Talkers Premiere

Several veteran talk shows premiered on Monday, Sept. 1 and Monday, Sept. 8, to stronger ratings.

Over the first two days of its season 12 premiere, Warner Bros.' Ellen averaged a 2.9/8 in households in the metered markets, up 20% from its September 2013 time period average of 2.4/7, and up 45% from its lead-in (2.0/6).

Disney-ABC's Live with Kelly and Michael premiered its season on Monday, Sept. 1, with a 2.9/8, tying Ellen’s two-day premiere, down 9% from its lead-in (3.2/9), which is ABC’s Good Morning America in many big markets, and even with last September. On Monday, Sept. 8, Live did a 3.0/11, down 6% from its lead-in (3.2/12) and up 3% from last year.

CTD’s Dr. Phil premiered on Tuesday, Sept. 9, with a 2.8/8, up 64% from its lead-in (1.7/5), up 7% from last year. Phil — which delays its premiere every year while CBS spends the Monday after Labor Day airing coverage of the US Open Men’s Tennis Finals —is spending premiere week airing interviews from ripped-from-the-headlines stories, an area where the show tends to draw viewers.

NBCU’s Steve Harvey premiered its third season on Monday, Sept. 8, with a 1.9/6, up 26% from both its lead-in (1.5/5), which is Meredith in several NBC markets, and last September (1.5/4).

Syndies Slow in Summer's Final Week

As for the rest of syndication, most shows were quiet over the week ended Aug. 31, the final week of summer vacation before Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 1.

Entertainment magazines earned next-day boosts from their Tuesday coverage of the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards on NBC. CBS Television Distribution’s Entertainment Tonight improved 13% on post-Emmy Tuesday to a 3.4 live plus same day national household ratings average, and held steady for the week at a 3.0. Warner Bros.’ Extra jumped 15% to a 1.5 on Tuesday, and gained 8% for the week to a 1.4. NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood improved 7% to a 1.5 on Tuesday, tying Extra, but was the only entertainment magazine to decline for the week, dipping 7% to a 1.3. Both Access Hollywood and Extra air in access on many NBC markets and thus were frequently preempted for network Emmy coverage. CTD’s The Insider gained 15% to a 1.3 on Tuesday, and grew 9% for the week to a 1.2.

CTD’s Inside Edition, which is not entertainment specific, fell 4% from the previous week to a 2.7. Similarly, Warner Bros.’ TMZ, whose TMZ Sports was first to release the Ray Rice domestic abuse video that's caused an uproar, was flat at a 1.7 and in third-place overall.

Twentieth’s Dish Nation was unchanged for the week at a 1.0, where it has been 16 times in the past 17 weeks. Trifecta’s OK! TV was flat at a 0.3, tying its out-of-production America Now.

Elsewhere in access, CTD’s Wheel of Fortune skidded 5% from the previous week to a 5.6 but remained ahead of CTD’s Jeopardy!, which dipped 4% to a 5.3, matching its season low. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud fell 2% to a 4.7. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire, in its last week with Cedric the Entertainer, remained at a 1.9 for the fourth straight week.

In daytime, Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael regained talk’s top spot with a 2.6, up 8% and 13% for the week and the year, respectively, despite airing five repackaged episodes. CTD’s Dr. Phil dipped 4% to a 2.5 with a week of all repeats.

Further back, NBCU’s Maury slipped 11% to a 1.7, tying Warner Bros.’ Ellen, which remained at its season low for the fifth straight week. SPT’s Dr. Oz rounded out the top five with a steady 1.5, also mostly in reruns.

NBCU’s Steve Harvey held firm at a 1.4. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos was off 8% to a 1.2 with previously aired shows all week. CTD’s Rachael Ray, prior to heading into upgrades on several ABC owned stations, remained at a 1.2, tying Wilkos and Disney-ABC’s Katie, which improved 9% in its final week on the air.

NBCU’s Jerry Springer was unchanged at a 1.1. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, in repeats, weakened 10% to a new season low 0.9, tying CTD’s The Doctors, which lost 10% with a week of reruns. NBCU’s Trisha slumped 20% to a 0.4 in its final week, and Meredith’s The Better Show remained at a 0.2 for the 37th of the past 38 weeks.

Among 2013’s freshman class, SPT’s Queen Latifah strengthened 13% to a 0.9, despite being in repeats. In their final weeks, CTD’s The Test, Warner Bros.’ Bethenny and CTD’s Arsenio Hall all were flat at a 0.5.

CTD’s Judge Judy was court’s only gainer, moving up 5% for the week and year to a 6.6. Judy, in reruns, remained syndication’s highest rated show for the 23rd straight week.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court deteriorated 11% to a 1.6. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis sank 7% to a 1.3, tying Twentieth’s departing Judge Alex, which dropped 7%. Twentieth’s Divorce Court eroded 8% to a 1.2, while MGM’s freshman Paternity Court was flat at a 0.9. 

MGM’s viral-video show, RightThisMinute, which will premiere on the Fox owned stations this fall, was unchanged at a 1.0. 

Ratings for off-net sitcoms were no laughing matter. Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory dropped 5% to a 5.4. Twentieth’s newcomer Modern Family recovered 3% from its season low to a 3.3. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men moved down 3% to a 3.2. Twentieth's Family Guy deteriorated 12% to a new season low 2.3. SPT's Seinfeld and Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother both sank 11% to a 1.7. Twentieth's The Cleveland Show shrank 16% to a new season low 1.6, tying Warner Bros.’ The Middle, which was flat. Warner Bros.’ Friends fell 12% to a new season low 1.5, while Twentieth’s King of the Hill fell 19% to a new season-low 1.3.