Syndication Ratings: Sochi Olympics Roll Over Syndies for Second Week

NBC’s Sochi steamroller continued to flatten syndies for a second session in the week ending Feb. 23, preempting most shows that air on NBC affiliates and providing stronger than usual competition for those left standing.

In addition, levels of people using television declined by more than 3 million viewers week to week, and some shows again chose to exclude their ratings in the face of the Olympics juggernaut.

In daytime, the only talker to move up from the prior week was NBCUniversal’s Jerry Springer. The 23-year vet spiked 8% to a 1.4 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, matching its season high and moving up to seventh place among talkers.

CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil remained tops in talk for the 26th time in the past 29 weeks with a 3.1, steady from the prior week despite preemptions and growing 6% among women 25-54 to a first place 1.8 in the key demo.

In second place, Disney/ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael ran into preemptions against the women’s gold medal hockey game in some markets and dipped 6% to a 2.9, although that was still up 4% from last year at this time. 

In third place, NBCU’s Maury eased 5% to a 2.1, however, Maury was first among women 18-34 with a 1.1 and tied Dr. Phil for first place among women 18-49 with a 1.3.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, CTD’s Rachael Ray and NBCU’s Steve Wilkos all held steady at 1.6, 1.5, 1.5, respectively. CTD’s The Doctors slipped 8% to a 1.1, while NBCU’s Trisha and Meredith’s The Better Show both were flat at a 0.6 and 0.2, respectively.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen, SPT’s Dr. Oz, NBCU’s Steve Harvey, Disney/ABC’s Katie and SPT’s newcomer Queen Latifah all elected not to include their ratings in their season averages for a second straight week against the Winter Games.

Among the other rookies, Warner Bros.’ already canceled Bethenny dropped 11% to a 0.8, while CTD’s The Test was flat at a 0.7. In late-night, CTD’s renewed Arsenio Hall, which was one of the few gainers in the prior week, gave back 13% to a 0.7 in the first week of NBC’s new Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

At the top of the syndie chart, CTD’s Judge Judy was the only court show to improve from the prior week, jumping 3% for the week and year to a 7.8.

Among the other court room entries, Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was a distant second at an unchanged 2.0, while Twentieth’s Divorce Court, Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis and Twentieth’s Judge Alex all were down 6% to a 1.7. At the back of the pack, MGM’s Paternity Court was flat at a 1.1.

In access, CTD’s Entertainment Tonight dipped 3% from the prior week to a 3.4. CTD’s Inside Edition added 7% to a 3.0. In third place, NBCU’s Access Hollywood, which hit its highest ratings in two years the prior year, gave back 9% to a 2.0, although that was still up 5% from last year at this time and the most year to year improvement of any magazine. NBCU’s Access Hollywood tied Warner Bros.’ TMZ, which fell 5% for the week. CTD’s The Insider held steady at a 1.3, while Warner Bros.’ Extra, which did not air in the majority of its markets, removed its ratings from its average.

Rounding out the category, MGM’s RightThisMinute fell 8% to a 1.1. Twentieth’s Dish Nation dropped 9% to a 1.0. Trifecta’s recently canceled America Now lost 25% to a 0.3, while rookie Trifecta’s OK! TV remained at a 0.2.

Among game shows, CTD’s Wheel of Fortune skidded 3% for the week to a 7.0. CTD’s Jeopardy! was flat at a 6.7. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was flat at a 5.7, while Disney/ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire continued to decline, sliding 5% to a 2.1.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory quieted down 3% from the prior week to a 6.2, but still led the off-net sitcoms. Twentieth's newcomer Modern Family was flat at a 4.7. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men ticked up 3% to a 4.0. Twentieth’s Family Guy and How I Met Your Mother both were unchanged at a 2.9 and 2.3, respectively. SPT’s Seinfeld spiked 5% to a 2.0. Twentieth’s rookie The Cleveland Show was flat at a 1.9. Warner Bros.’ Friends faded 5% to a 1.8 and SPT’s Rules of Engagement was down 6% to a 1.6, tying Twentieth’s King of the Hill, which was flat.

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.