Syndication Ratings: 'Oprah' Ratings Dive in Post-Sweep Repeats

With the February sweeps complete and repeats in full swing, much of syndication declined in the week ended March 13.
CBS Television Distribution's Oprah, after two weeks of reruns, dropped 35% from a 5.7 live plus same day household ratings average at the end of sweeps, according to Nielsen Media Research, to a 3.7 in this frame. Week to week, Oprah declined 21%. That plunge lost Oprah the daytime crown, which was taken over by CTD's top court show, Judge Judy, which remained steady for the week at a 4.5.
Repeats weren't as rough on the rest of talk, with CTD's Dr. Phil easing just 3% to a second-place 2.8. Disney-ABC's Live with Regis and Kelly added 4% to a 2.7. Sony's Dr. Oz and Warner Bros.' Ellen each were unchanged, tying for fourth-place 2.3. NBC Universal's Maury tacked on 5% to a 2.0. CTD's The Doctors gave back 6% to a 1.7, while CTD's Rachael Ray remained steady at a 1.6. NBCU's Steve Wilkos was up 8% to a 1.4, which was the most week-to-week growth among all syndicated talk shows and was the only talker to grow year to year. NBCU's Jerry Springer sank 8% to a 1.2. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams, currently appearing on ABC's Dancing With the Stars, stumbled 17% to a 1.0.
Judy remained the queen of court, while CTD's Judge Joe Brown, dipped 5% to a 1.9. That tied Warner Bros.' People's Court, which was flat. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis was unchanged at a 1.6, while Twentieth's Judge Alex and Divorce Court each eroded 8% to a 1.2. Warner Bros.' Judge Jeanine Pirro trailed with a flat 0.9.
CTD's Swift Justice with Nancy Grace remained the rookie first-run champ, despite slipping 8% to a 1.2. Sony's Nate Berkus dropped 10% to a 0.9. Twentieth's Don't Forget the Lyrics, which won't be back next year, grew 17% to a 0.7. Litton's Judge Karen's Court was unchanged at a 0.6, while Entertainment Studios' America's Court with Judge Ross sank 33% to a 0.2.
Among game shows, CTD's Wheel of Fortune fell 3% to a 7.3. CTD's Jeopardy! lost 6% to a 6.0. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire ticked up 5% to a 2.3. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud advanced 6% to a 1.7. Twentieth's Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader, which also is concluding after this season, was flat at a 0.9.
CTD's Entertainment Tonight remained the top magazine at a 4.0, off 5% from the week before. CTD's Inside Edition was unchanged at a 3.1. Warner Bros.' TMZ gained 5% to a new season high 2.2. NBCU's Access Hollywood remained at a season-high 2.1, while CTD's The Insider and Warner Bros.' Extra tied at a 1.7, with Insider down 11% and Extra holding firm.
Among the new off-net and off-cable strips, Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother, Warner Bros.' New Adventures of Old Christine and Debmar-Mercury's Meet the Browns all were flat at a 2.4, 1.3, and 1.1, respectively. Warner Bros.' Entourage slid 14% to 0.6. Warner's Curb Your Enthusiasm and NBCU's off-Bravo Real Housewives were unchanged at a 0.6 and 0.5, respectively.
Warner Bros.' top off-net Two and a Half Men was flat at a 5.9. Twentieth's Family Guy fell 5% to 3.7. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond, Disney-ABC's My Wife and Kids and Sony's Seinfeld all were tied at a 2.6, with Raymond up 4%, Seinfeld flat, and Wife and Kids down 4%. NBCU's The Office was unchanged at a 2.3. Warner Bros.' George Lopez tacked on 5% to a 2.2. Twentieth's King of the Hill was flat at a 2.1. Warner Bros.' Friends advanced 6% to a 1.9.

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.