As the February sweep headed toward its close, shows were mostly steady in the sweep's final full week, which ran Jan. 31 through Feb. 27.
Many shows were preempted on Feb. 21 by news out of Chicago that Empire actor Jussie Smollett faced felony charges for allegedly faking a hate crime.
Among the talkers, 12 of the 14 strips were flat to down, including CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil. Phil managed to stay on top of talk for the 129th straight week with five ties in the week ended Feb. 24, even though the show dipped 3% from its season high to a 3.2 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil also led with a 1.3.
The only two talkers to move up were Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres, which added 9% from the prior week to a 2.4 and Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which climbed 8% to a 1.3 even without Williams.
Holding steady were Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan; NBCU’s Maury, Steve and Steve Wilkos and CTD’s Rachael Ray at 2.3, 1.5, 1.4, 1.2 and 1.2, respectively.
Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz dipped 8% to a 1.1. Warner Bros.’ The Real, CTD’s TheDoctors, Disney’s Pickler & Ben and NBCU’s syndicated run of the out-of-production JerrySpringer all stayed at a 0.7, 0.6, 0.4 and 0.4, respectively, with Springer scoring a 0.4 for the 24th straight week.
CTD’s newcomer Face the Truth stayed at a 0.9 for a second week while Debmar-Mercury’s already-renewed Caught in Providence climbed 17% to a 0.7.
CTD’s Judge Judy upticked 1% to a 7.9, matching its season high to lead the courts and all of syndication among households for the 33rd consecutive week with four ties.
CTD’s Hot Bench maintained its 2.6 season high for a fourth straight week to rank third in daytime behind only Judy and Phil for the seventh straight week.
Warner Bros.’ People’s Court gained 7% to a 1.6, while stablemate Judge Mathis was flat at a 1.1. Twentieth’s Divorce Court settled for a stable 0.8.
Games were tight at the top with Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud, which had sole possession of the lead for the prior two rounds was flat at a 6.8 to be tied by Jeopardy!, which jumped 5%. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune rolled in right behind with a 3% gain to a 6.7.
Disney’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire depreciated 6% to a 1.7. Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask increased 20% to a new season-high 0.6 after 30 straight weeks at a 0.5.
Disney’s viral video show RightThisMinute clocked a steady 1.3 for a third consecutive week.
CTD’s Entertainment Tonight and Inside Edition both held on to their Oscar gains to tie at an unchanged 3.2 to stay atop the magazines.
NBCU’s Access held steady at its season high 1.4, tying Warner Bros.’ TMZ, which added 8%. Warner Bros.’ Extra was on par with the prior week’s 1.1, tying CTD’s DailyMailTV, which spiked 10%. Twentieth’s Page Six TV held at its season-high 0.7 for a fourth straight week. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page posted a 0.3 for a third week in a row.
On the true-crime beat, NBCU’s off-net Dateline gave back 13% to a 1.3. SPT’s off-A&E Live PD Police Patrol posted a 1.1 for the eighth straight week, while off-Investigation Discovery’s True Crime Files remained at a 0.3.
NBCU’s off-net scripted strip Chicago PD held steady at a 1.0.
Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory inched up 2% to a 5.0 to lead the off-net sitcoms. Twentieth’s Last Man Standing and Modern Family, SPT’s The Goldbergs, Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men, Twentieth’s Family Guy and Disney’s Black-ish all were unchanged at a 2.4, 1.9, 1.5 1.5 1.4 and 1.2, respectively. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly moved up 9% to a 1.2, tying Black-ish. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls stayed at a 1.0 for a fifth straight week, tying Warner Bros.’ Mom, which motored ahead 11%, and SPT’s Seinfeld, which shrank 9%.
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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.