Syndication Ratings: Mid-Sweep, Syndies Hold Steady

At the May sweep’s halfway mark, most syndicated shows were steady as they go.

CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil led a stable group of talk shows, with nine unchanged, four down and none up in the week ended May 10. Dr. Phil held at a 3.3 live plus same day national household ratings average, according to Nielsen Media Research, holding on to the talk lead for the 17th straight week including ties. Dr. Phil also led among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54 at a 1.6.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael was the best of the rest averaging a 2.8 in households, off 3% for the week but still up 4% compared to last year at this time.

In third place, Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres remained at a 2.4, where the show has been for four of the past five weeks and down 8% from last year at this time.

NBCU’s Maury and Steve Harvey completed the top five, with both shows holding steady at a 1.9 and 1.8, respectively. Among women 25-54, Maury finished ahead of Ellen, moving up to second place with a 1.4. Live scored a 1.3 in the key demo for third place, while Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams tied Ellen for fourth each with a 1.2.

In households, Wendy Williams slipped 6% for the week to a sixth-place1.6, but grew 14% for the year, talk’s best margin of growth for the week. Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz slid 7% to a 1.3, matching the show’s series low. Oz also dropped the most of any talker, retreating 32% for the year.

NBCU’s Jerry Springer, in its 24th season, had talk’s second biggest year-to-year increase, advancing 8% compared to last year to a 1.3 and holding steady for the week, tying Dr. Oz and NBCU’s Steve Wilkos. Wilkos was flat among households, but jumped 13% among women 25-54 to a 0.9.

CTD’s Rachael Ray receded 8% to a new season-low 1.2. Warner Bros.’ The Real, NBCU’s Meredith Vieira and CTD’s The Doctors all were unchanged at a 1.1, 1.0 and 1.0, respectively.

CTD’s Judge Judy sat atop the overall syndication chart for the second week in a row, despite a 4% dip to a 6.5 after hitting at seven-week high in the prior frame. In second place among the courts, CTD’s Hot Bench held steady at its series-best 2.0 for a second consecutive week. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court, Twentieth’s Divorce Court, Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis, MGM’s Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court and Trifecta’s Judge Faith all were flat at a 1.7, 1.4. 1.3, 1.2 and a 0.8, respectively.

In access, game shows were steady. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune regained a slight advantage, adding 2% to a 6.4, after tying CTD’s Jeopardy! in the previous stanza. Jeopardy! sagged 3% to a 6.1. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was flat at a 5.9, but was up 20% from last year at this time and was the genre’s only show to notch an annual gain.

Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire remained at its series-low 1.6 for the third time in four weeks and lost 24% from last year at this time. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game was unchanged at 1.3 for the sixth time in seven weeks.

MGM’s video variety show RightThisMinute was flat at a 1.4.

Magazines had a quiet week. CTD’s Entertainment Tonight continued to hold a narrow lead over CTD sister show Inside Edition, with both strips slipping 3% to a 3.1 and 3.0, respectively. Warner Bros.’ TMZ, NBCU’s Access Hollywood and Warner Bros.’ Extra all were stable at a 1.9, 1.6 and 1.3, respectively, although Access Hollywood was up 7% compared to last year at this time, the most of any of the top-five magazines.

CTD’s The Insider eased 8% to a 1.2. Twentieth’s Dish Nation and Trifecta’s OK! TV both were flat at a 1.1 and 0.2, respectively.

Among the off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory was tops with a 2% advance to a 5.4. Twentieth’s Modern Family remained at a 3.5. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men remained at its series-low 2.7 for a second straight week. Twentieth’s Family Guy grew 13% to a 2.7, tying Two and a Half Men for the first time. Warner Bros.’ rookie Mike & Molly moved up 5% to a 2.3. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother and SPT’s Seinfeld each rose 5% to a 2.0. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show spiked 13% to a 1.7. Warner Bros.’ The Middle slumped 6% to a 1.6, tying Twentieth’s King of the Hill, which climbed 7% to a 1.6.

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.