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Syndication Ratings: Progress Impeached by Public Hearings

Wall-to-wall coverage of public impeachment hearings in the House of Representatives across major broadcast affiliates caused massive preemptions and skewed ratings in the pre-Thanksgiving week ended Nov. 24.

As a result, some shows only counted a two-day average, namely Monday and Friday, with Nielsen breaking Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday out of the ratings averages for shows who lost more than 10% of their coverage.

Not all shows benefited from the break-out, however. CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil had all five days counted, causing the show to give back 8% from the prior week to a 2.3 live-plus- same-day national Nielsen household rating, matching its season low. However, that was still good enough for Phil to top the talk shows for the 168th consecutive week with five ties.

Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan topped Phil at a 1.0, while followed Phil followed with a 0.9.

In households, Live came in a close second, remaining at its season-high 2.1.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres declined 11% to a 1.7 to equal its season low. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams weakened 14% to a 1.2, tying NBCU’s Maury, which was flat. CTD’s Rachael Ray retreated 9% to a 1.0, tying NBCU’s unchanged Steve Wilkos. Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz dropped 11% to a 0.8 to match its series low.

Warner Bros.’ The Real, CTD’s The Doctors and the syndicated version of NBCU’s out-of-production Jerry Springer all stood pat at a 0.6, 0.5 and 0.4, respectively.

NBCU’s rookie leader The Kelly Clarkson Show was riddled with preemptions on Nov. 21, losing its primary run in five of the top ten markets, including New York. Nielsen still included the low-rated day in the show’s weekly household average, however, causing a 7% drop to a 1.3. That said, Clarkson still ranked as the fourth overall talker.

Disney’s Tamron Hall held at its season-high 1.0 for the eighth straight week, while SPT’s Mel Robbins remained at a 0.4 for the seventh consecutive week.

Like Tamron, NBCU’s Judge Jerry, starring Springer, stayed at a 1.0. Fellow freshman jurists MGM/Orion’s Personal Injury Court and Trifecta’s ProtectionCourt also stayed at a 0.6 and 0.3, respectively.

Fox’s 25 Words or Less, starring and executive produced by Meredith Vieira, rebounded 13% to a 0.9, while SPT’s off-GSN America Says held at a 0.6 for the sixth consecutive week.

Elsewhere in daytime, CTD’s season-to-date household ratings leader Judge Judy did not benefit from being broken out on any days, despite losing its primary run in five of the top 20 markets on Nov. 19. Judy backtracked 7% to a 6.3, but still led the court shows for 1,209th consecutive week. Judy also tied Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune for the highest ratings of the week overall. Among women 25-54, Judy led all shows with a 2.3, while Family Feud came in second at a 2.2. Wheel of Fortune came in third at a 1.8 and Jeopardy! fourth at a 1.7.

Among the rest of the court shows, CTD’s Hot Bench broke even at a 2.1. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court fell 7% to a 1.3. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis maintained a 0.9. Fox’s Divorce Court stayed at a 0.7. Debmar-Mercury’s Caught in Providence plunged 20% to a new season low 0.4.

In access, Jeopardy!, in its first week post-Tournament of Champions, fell back 13% to a 6.3, tying Wheel, which inched up 2%. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was flat at a 5.9, finishing third in games for the fifth week in a row.

Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask unchanged 0.5 for a ninth straight week.

Also in first-run, Disney’s internet video show RightThisMinute remained at its series low 0.7 for a second week.

Magazines were mostly lower. CTD’s Inside Edition fell 4% to a 2.7, while sister show Entertainment Tonight slipped 7% to a 2.6. NBCU’s Access Hollywood shed 7% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ TMZ was unchanged at a 1.1, while Warner Bros. Extra was preempted more than 30 times in the top 50 markets for Thursday Night Football on Fox and the National Dog Show. The show dropped 11% to a 0.8, tying CTD’s DailyMailTV, which was steady.

Trifecta’s Celebrity Page stayed at a 0.2 for the 21st straight week.

Meanwhile, week four of the five-week test of entertainment magazine hopeful Central Ave landed during Thanksgiving week. The Will Packer Media-produced show averaged a 0.8 rating/2 share, down 20% from its lead-in and off 27% from its year-ago time period average. Among women 25-54, Central Ave turned in a 0.5/2, down 29% from its lead in and 38% behind its November 2018 time periods.

NBCU’s off-network strip Dateline delivered an unchanged 1.2. SPT’s off-A&E Live PD Police Patrol remained in close pursuit with a steady 1.1. NBCU’s scripted Chicago PD held at a 0.8 for the fourth consecutive week.

Warner Bros.’ off-net sitcom leader The Big Bang Theory was on par with prior week’s 3.1. Disney’s Last Man Standing slid 5% to a 1.9. Disney’s Modern Family rose 7% to a 1.6. Disney’s Family Guy and Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men remained at a 1.3, tying SPT’s TheGoldbergs, which gained 8% to a 1.3. Disney’s black-ish banked a 1.0 for a second straight week, tying Warner Bros.’ Mom, which moved up 11% to a new season-high 1.0. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls grew 13% to a 0.9, tying Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly and SPT’s Seinfeld, both of which were stable.

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.