Syndication Ratings: Most Shows Steady in Final Week of February Sweep

Most syndicated shows were steady in the week ended Feb. 28, which included the final full week of the February sweep.

Only two of the 15 talkers improved from the prior week, CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil and NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey. Talk leader Dr. Phil matched its season high, advancing 3% to a 3.5 live plus same day household average, according to Nielsen Media Research. That marked Phil’s eighth first-place finish in a row. Phil also finished first in talk among women 25-54 with a 1.6 in the key demo, followed by Warner Bros.' Ellen DeGeneres in second place at a 1.5 and Disney-ABC's Live with Kelly and Michael at a 1.4. 

The week’s other talk winner, Steve Harvey, grew 5% to a fourth-place 2.0 and emerged as a clear double threat with success in both the gab and game-show genres.

Live with Kelly and Michael slipped 6% to a second-place 3.0 in households, although that number is expected to jump in the week ended March 6, when Live’s highly rated post-Oscars episode is factored in.

Ellen, NBCUniversal’s Maury, Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams all were flat at a 2.8, 1.8 and 1.7, respectively. CTD’s Rachael Ray receded 6% to a 1.5, while NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, NBCUniversal’s Jerry Springer, CTD’s The Doctors, Warner Bros.’ The Real and NBCU’s soon-to-depart Meredith Vieira all were unchanged at a 1.5, 1.5, 1.3, 1.1, 1.0 and 0.9, respectively. Compared to last year at this time, Meredith and The Real were down the most, with losses of 25% and 17%, respectively.

Among the newcomers, Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily remained the leader at a steady 1.0. Disney-ABC’s FABLife and NBCU’s Crazy Talk, both of which won’t go forward after their rookie seasons, were steady at a 0.8 and 0.5 for the week.  

Crime Watch also led among women 25-54, with a first-place 0.6. FABLife stayed at a 0.4, while Crazy Talk sank 25% to a 0.3.

Elsewhere in daytime, the top three court rooms all got favorable verdicts from Nielsen.

CTD’s Judge Judy, the very likely overall sweep winner, inched up 1% for the week and 11% from last year at this time to a 7.9. Judy also led all of syndication for the 35th time in the past 36 weeks.

CTD’s Hot Bench, the number-two court room for the past 49 weeks, equaled its all-time high with a 4% jump to a 2.7. That’s a 50% increase over last year, when it was still airing on independent and duopoly stations in top markets.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was the third gaveler in the upswing, climbing 5% to a 2.0 and matching its season high. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis and Twentieth’s Divorce Court stood pat at a 1.6 and 1.3, respectively. Trifecta’s Judge Faith forged ahead 11% to a new season-high 1.0.

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud tied with CTD’s Wheel of Fortune, with both shows hitting a 7.2 and Feud up 3%, while Wheel accelerated 6%. CTD’s Jeopardy! jumped 2% to a 6.6.

Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game gained 7% to a 1.5, while Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was flat at a 1.4 year to year. Family Feud and Celebrity Name Game grew the most, with each show gaining 7%. Millionaire, meanwhile, had the biggest annual drop, losing 26%.

Meanwhile, MGM’s viral video show RightThisMinute remained at a 1.2, down 25% from last year at this time.

Elsewhere in access, magazines all were unchanged or lower except for Warner Bros.’ Extra, which was the only show to gain, adding 7% to a 1.5, that show’s second-highest rating of the season.

CTD’s leader Entertainment Tonight dipped 3% to a 3.4. CTD’s Inside Edition, Warner Bros.’ TMZ, NBCU’s Access Hollywood, CTD’s The Insider and Twentieth’s Dish Nation all held steady at a 3.1, 1.8, 1.7, 1.3 and 0.9, respectively. Trifecta’s OK! TV tumbled 33% to a 0.2, after eight consecutive sessions at a 0.3.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory was unchanged at a 6.1, followed by Twentieth’s Modern Family , which gained 6% to a 3.5. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved down 4% to a 2.7. Warner Bros.’ rookie, 2 Broke Girls, Warner Bros.’ sophomore Mike & Molly and Twentieth’s Family Guy all were flat at a 2.1. SPT’s Seinfeld slipped 5% to a 1.8. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother and Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show stayed at a 1.7, while Twentieth’s King of the Hill climbed 8% to a 1.4.

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.