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Syndication Ratings: In Originals, 'Dr. Phil' Retakes Talk's Top Spot

With a week of original episodes, Dr. Phil retook sole possession of talk's top spot in the week ending July 19, improving 26% on the week to an eight-week high 2.9 live plus same day national household ratings average, according to Nielsen Media Research.

The CBS Television Distribution talker also improved 7% compared to last year at this time to win the talk show race for the 24th time in the past 27 weeks, including ties with Disney-ABC's Live With Kelly and Michael.

Live came in second, holding steady at a 2.6. NBCUniversal’s summer sensation, Maury, filled out the top three, growing 5% to a 2.0, that show's highest ratings in nine weeks. Year to year, Maury improved 18%, the most of any talk show.

Among daytime's key demographic of women 25-54, Dr. Phil ballooned 33% to a first-place 1.6. Maury came in next with an 8% spike to a 1.4, followed by Live at a steady 1.3.

Back in households, Warner Bros.’ Ellen Degeneres, in repeats, remained at its season-low 1.8 for the third week in a row.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, NBCU’s Steve Harvey and NBCU’s Steve Wilkos all were unchanged at a 1.6, 1.5 and 1.4, respectively. However, compared to the same week last year, Williams and Harvey climbed 7% while Wilkos strengthened 8%.

NBCU’s Jerry Springer spiked 8% for the week to a 1.4, surging 17% from last year at this time, notching talk's second best annual improvement. CTD’s Rachael Ray remained at a 1.3, but gained 8% from last year. Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz stayed at a 1.3, tying Rachael. Warner Bros.’ The Real rose 11% to a 1.0, while CTD’s The Doctors and NBCU’s Meredith Vieira were steady at a 0.9.

Meanwhile, week three of the Fox Television Stations' four-week test of Boris and Nicole averaged a 0.7 rating/2 share in households in its 15 metered markets. This was unchanged from week two, and down 13% from week one’s 0.8/2. Week three was down 36% from its 1.1 rating/4 share average lead-in and off 13% compared to its year-ago time period average of 0.8/2.

Among women 25-54, Boris and Nicole registered a 0.7/5 in its third week, up 17% from week two’s 0.6/4, but down 13% from week one’s 0.8/5. In week three, the show was down 29% from its 0.9/6 lead-in in the demo, but still up 40% from its 0.5/3 for its July 2014 time periods.

Magazines were generally stable, with CTD’s Entertainment Tonight the only weekly winner, climbing 3% to a first-place 3.0. CTD’s Inside Edition was flat at a 2.9, while Warner Bros.’ TMZ was the only loser among the top tier, slipping 6% to a 1.6. NBCU’s Access Hollywood, Warner Bros.’ Extra and CTD’s The Insider all held steady at a 1.5, 1.2 and 1.2, respectively.

Twentieth’s Dish Nation dropped 10% to a 0.9, while Trifecta’s OK! TV remained at a 0.2.

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud continued to lead the games, topping the category for the sixth consecutive week, including one tie. Feud dipped 6% for the week to a 6.1, but increased 39% from last year.

In second place, CTD’s Jeopardy! declined 2% to a 6.1, tying CTD’s Wheel of Fortune, which was flat. Year to year, Jeopardy! added 7% while Wheel inched up 3%.

Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire remained stuck at its series-low 1.6 for the 12th time in 13 weeks, sagging 16% from last year. Debmar-Mercury’s newcomer Celebrity Name Game improved 8% to a 1.4.

MGM’s video variety show RightThisMinute was unchanged at its season-low 1.2 for a second straight week.

CTD’s Judge Judy, in reruns, led all of syndication and the courts at a 6.4, even though it declined 3% for the week.

CTD’s Hot Bench, also in repeats, held steady at a 2.0 to hold second place, and tied Maury as daytime’s third highest-rated show. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was flat at a 1.6. Twentieth’s Divorce Court rose 8% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis and MGM’s Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court were unchanged at a 1.3 and 1.2, respectively, while Trifecta’s Judge Faith finished 14% higher at a 0.8.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory led the off-net sitcoms, although it dipped 2% to a 5.0. In second place, Twentieth’s Modern Family retreated 3% to a 3.0, tying its series low. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men remained at a 2.7. Twentieth’s Family Guy, Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly, Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother and SPT’s Seinfeld all were flat at a 2.3, 2.2, 2.0 and 1.9, respectively. Warner Bros.’ The Middle slid 6% to a 1.7, tying Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show, which climbed 13%. Twentieth’s King of the Hill remained at a 1.5.

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.