Syndication Ratings: Most Shows Flat to Down as February Sweeps Start

Headed into the key February sweeps period in the week ended Feb. 7, syndicated shows were mostly flat to down across the board, with shows expected to pick up once the ratings period gets going.

In first run, not a single strip was up from the prior week in households.

CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil remained the talk leader for the fifth week in a row with a steady 3.3 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, equalling its second-highest rating of the season. Phil also was one of the few shows to improve among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, growing 7% from the prior week to a 1.6 to lead the talkers.

Disney-ABC’s Live With Kelly and Michael posted a 3.1 in households, a 3% dip from the previous week. 

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres was unchanged in third place at a 2.7. NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey fell back 14% to a 1.8. NBCU’s Maury and Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams each dropped 6% to a 1.7 to tie for fifth. 

CTD’s Rachael Ray remained at a 1.6, but showed the biggest annual increase of any talker, improving 7%. SPT’s Dr. Oz slid 7% to a 1.4, tying NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, which also eased  7%.

NBCU’s Jerry Springer and CTD’s The Doctors both stood pat at a 1.3 and 1.1, respectively. Warner Bros.’ The Real retreated 9% to a 1.0, while NBCU’s Meredith Vieira gave back 10% to a 0.9.

Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily led the rookies at a 1.0, a 9% drop. Disney-ABC’s FABLife remained at a 0.8, while NBCU’s Crazy Talk lost 17% to a 0.5. Among women 25-54, Crime Watch led with a 0.6, followed by FABLife and Crazy Talk at a 0.4 and 0.3, respectively. 

CTD’s court leader, Judge Judy, was steady at a syndication-leading 7.8, a 7% gain from last year at this time. 

CTD’s Hot Bench was the second-highest rated court show at a 2.5, down 4% from its series high set two weeks earlier but up 39% from last year at this time, the biggest annual gain of any strip in syndication.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court lost 5% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis softened 6% to a 1.5. Twentieth’s Divorce Court dropped 7% to a 1.3. Trifecta’s Judge Faith stayed at a 0.9 for the sixth consecutive week.

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune led the games at a flat 7.4, followed by Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud, which fell 5% to a 6.9. CTD’s Jeopardy! faded 4% to a 6.7. Further back, Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game sagged 7% to a 1.4, tying Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which was unchanged for the week and down 26% from last year at this time, the biggest annual decline of any first-run strip.

Meanwhile, MGM’s viral video show RightThisMinute remained at a 1.2 for the sixth straight week, down 20% from last year at this time.

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight led the magazines at a 3.4. CTD’s Inside Edition dipped 3% to a 3.1. Warner Bros.’ TMZ was unchanged at a 1.9. NBCU’s Access Hollywood gave back 6% to a 1.7. Warner Bros.’ Extra and CTD’s The Insider held firm at a 1.5 and 1.3, respectively. 

Twentieth’s Dish Nation and Trifecta’s OK! TV both were flat at a 1.0 and 0.3, respectively.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory cooled off 3% to a 6.4 to lead the off-net sitcoms. Twentieth’s Modern Family also faded 3% to a 3.5. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men, 2 Broke Girls, Mike & Molly and Twentieth’s Family Guy all remained at a 2.8, 2.3, 2.2 and 2.2, respectively. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother moved up 17% to a 2.1 SPT’s Seinfeld shrank 5% to a 1.9. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show climbed 6% to a 1.7, while Twentieth’s King of the Hill was flat at a 1.3. 

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for more than 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for The Global Entertainment Marketing Academy of Arts & Sciences (G.E.M.A.). 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.