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Syndication Ratings: Shows Slow on Eve of New TV Season

On the eve of a new season, most syndies were in a holding pattern in the week ending Sept. 4, which included most of the long Labor Day weekend. Many veteran daytime shows were in repeats and some access shows were penalized or preempted due to pre-season Thursday Night Football.

For example, 10 of the 13 talkers were unchanged from the prior week with two gaining and one falling. The only shows to improve on the week were CBS Television Distribution’s The Doctors, which added 13% to a four-week high 0.9 despite five days of reruns and Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly, which advanced 5% to a 2.3 to tie CTD’s steady Dr. Phil for first place among the talkers. Both Phil and Live were in repeats or in repackaged shows for the week. Among women 25-54, Live led with a 1.1 followed by Phil at a 1.0.

On Monday, Sept. 12, Dr. Phil opened its 15th season with a 4.1 rating/12 primary-run weighted metered-market average, up 37% in rating and 50% in share from Dr. Phil’s 2015 season premiere in the overnights. Compared to its September 2015 weighted metered-market average, Phil was up 64%. 

The episode was the first of a two-part exclusive interview with Burke Ramsey, brother of JonBenét Ramsey, whose 1996 murder is still unsolved. Dr. Phil on Monday won its time period in 44 metered markets, including WCBS New York at 3 p.m. where the show surged 110% from last year to a first-place 4.2/14. Part two also hit a 4.1/12 and again won its time slot in 44 metered markets.

Related: Syndication Ratings: 'Dr. Phil' Returns to Top of Talkers with Week of Originals

Meanwhile, NBCU’s Maury was the only show to decline in the nationals for the week ended Sept. 4, dropping 7% for the week and 22% for the year to a 1.4, matching its series low. Maury and Warner Bros.’ The Real, which also dropped 22% compared to last year, showed the largest declines of any talkers that haven’t already been canceled. NBCUniversal’s Meredith, which has nearly completed its run, dropped 33% for the year to a 0.6, although it held steady for the week.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres, NBCU’s SteveHarvey, NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, CTD’s RachaelRay, Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, NBCU’s Jerry Springer, Debmar-Mercury’s WendyWilliams and Warner Bros.’ The Real all were unchanged for the week at a 1.6, 1.4, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.1, 1.1 and 0.7, respectively.

Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily, soon to add Chris Hansen as host for its sophomore season, held steady at a 0.8 in reruns. 

Related: Chris Hansen Joins 'Crime Watch Daily'

On day two, NBCUniversal’s Harry, the only new nationally distributed first-run strip, declined 29% from a 1.4/4 on Monday to a 1.0/3 on Tuesday. Harry's lead-in was down more than 20%, which perhaps contributed to the drop. Harry did see gains in some key markets on its second day, including a 200% increase in Chicago from a 0.2/1 to a 0.6/2. 

Harry’s 56-market two-day average of 1.2/3 is still 9% ahead of year-ago time periods and even with its lead-in. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54 across the two days, Harry averaged a 0.6/3, a 20% improvement on both the show’s lead-in and year-ago time periods.

Related: Hoping for a Big Win, Daytime Turns to 'Harry'

After two days, Tegna’s T.D. Jakes in 31 metered markets averaged a 0.8/3, down 38% from its lead-in of 1.3/4 and down 20% from its year-ago time period average of 1.0/3. Among women 25-54, Jakes averaged a 0.3/2 across the two days, down 57% from its lead-in of 0.7/4 and down 40% from year-ago time periods 0.5/3.

Tribune’s new conflict talker, Robert Irvine, cleared on The CW, averaged a 0.5/2 in the weighted metered markets over its first two days, down 44% from its lead-in and off 17% from its year-ago time period average, which was Bill Cunningham. Among women 25-54, the show is averaging a 0.3/2, down 25% from its lead-in but even with its year-ago time period average.

Related: Robert Irvine Heeds Early Call on Talker

Back in the national ratings, CTD’s Judge Judy, held steady in originals at a 6.9, leading all of syndication and the court shows for the fifth week in a row. CTD’s Hot Bench, in reruns, dipped 4% to a 2.2 but ranked as the fourth-highest rated daytime strip for the 18th straight week behind only Judy, Phil and Live. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was flat at a 1.6. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis moved down 8% to a new season-low 1.2. Twentieth’s Divorce Court and Trifecta’s JudgeFaith were unchanged at a 1.0 and 0.7, respectively. 

Elsewhere, Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud eased 5% to a 6.3 but led the games for the 19th week in a row. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune fell 2% to a 5.6. CTD’s Jeopardy!, Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game and Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire all were unchanged at a 5.2, 1.3 and 1.2, respectively.

MGM’s viral video show RightThisMinute, moving to ABC stations in key markets, remained at a 1.1.

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight was the only magazine not to decline, adding 4% to hit a 10-week high 2.9. CTD’s Inside Edition, NBCU’s Access Hollywood, Warner Bros.’ TMZ and Warner Bros.’ Extra all were steady at a 2.7, 1.5, 1.5 and 1.2, respectively. CTD’s The Insider, which showed the highest increase in the prior session, slipped 9% to a 1.0. Twentieth’s Dish Nation stayed at a 0.9 while MGM’s Celebrity Page posted its regular 0.3 for the 23rd week in a row.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory dipped 2% to a 4.8 to lead the off-network sitcoms. Twentieth’s Modern Family was flat at a 2.8. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved up 4% to a 2.4. Twentieth’s Family Guy gave back 5% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls stood pat at a 1.8, tying Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly, which climbed 6%. SPT’s Seinfeld sagged 6% to a 1.6. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother moved down 6% to a 1.5. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show slid 7% to a new season-low 1.3, tying Twentieth’s King of Hill, which was flat.