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Syndication Ratings: Summer Originals Paying Off for Top Talkers

Talk’s summer strategy to stay in originals is already paying off for the shows that do it, with Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael, Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres and Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams all seeing strong results in the week ended June 7.

Live led the field in originals for the first time since the week ending January 11, holding steady at a 2.7 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, and moving up 4% from last year at this time. Among women 25-54, Live led the talkers with a 1.3, tying NBCUniversal’s Maury, Wendy Williams and Ellen.

CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil was in repeats all week and slipped to second place with a 7% loss to a 2.6.

Ellen, extending its run to the summer this year for the first time, got an early return on that plan, rebounding 5% to a 2.3 with fresh episodes all week.

Maury was flat at a 1.9. NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey jumped 13% to a 1.7, tying Wendy Williams for fifth place. In its third season of airing original summer episodes, Wendy spiked 31%, marking the biggest weekly increase in talk.

NBCU’s Jerry Springer stayed in encore telecasts all week, but still gained 8% to a 1.4, equalling its season high and rising 27% from last year at this time, the largest annual increase of any talker. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos was stable at a 1.3. Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz equalled its series low, dropping 8% to a 1.2 and sinking 29% from last year at this time, the sharpest annual drop of any talker.

CTD’s Rachael Ray retreated 15% to a new season-low 1.1, with a full week’s serving of reruns. Warner Bros.’ The Real remained at a 1.0 with a mix of originals and repeats. NBCU’s Meredith Vieira, in reruns, eased 10% to a new season low 0.9. CTD’s The Doctors, also in reruns, stayed at a 0.9.

The fight for command of the games is close, with CTD’s Wheel of Fortune just managing to hold off both its sister show, CTD’s Jeopardy!, and Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud as all three came within a tenth of each other. Wheel sped up 5% to a 6.4, while Feud was just a hair behind with a 5% advance to a 6.3, tying Jeopardy! for the first time since the week of October 19. Jeopardy! jumped 3%. Year to year, Feud was up the most of any game show, gaining 34%.

Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire remained stuck at its series-low 1.6 for the seventh straight week, declining 11% from last year at this time. Debmar-Mercury’s rookie Celebrity Name Game sagged 7% to a 1.3.

Meanwhile, MGM’s video variety show RightThisMinute bounced off the season low it hit in the prior session with an 8% rise to a 1.4.

Among magazines, CTD’s Entertainment Tonight and sister show Inside Edition were tied for the fourth week in a row with both strips holding steady at a 2.9. Warner Bros.’ TMZ tacked on 6% to a 1.9. NBCU’s Access Hollywood showed the category’s best gains, strengthening 7% to a 1.6 and improving 14% from last year at this time. Warner Bros.’ Extra; CTD’s The Insider, which just named Debbie Matenopoulos as co-host; Twentieth’s Dish Nation and Trifecta’s recently renewed OK! TV all were unchanged at a 1.3, 1.2, 1.0 and 0.2, respectively.

Back in daytime, CTD’s Judge Judy had no trouble retaining high court show honors with a steady 6.5. Judy also was the highest rated strip on the overall syndication chart for the sixth consecutive week. Judy’s brainchild, Hot Bench, remained the number two court room with a steady 2.0, despite being in reruns all week.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court slumped 11% to a 1.7. Twentieth’s Divorce Court and Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis were flat at a 1.4 and 1.3, respectively, while MGM’s Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court softened 8% to a 1.1 and Trifecta’s newcomer Judge Faith fell 11% to a 0.8.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory continued to lead the off-net sitcoms, gaining 6% to a 5.6. Twentieth’s Modern Family faded 9% to a 3.2. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved up 7% to a 2.9. Twentieth’s Family Guy and Warner Bros.’ rookie Mike & Molly both were unchanged at a 2.5 and 2.3, respectively. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother weakened 4% to a 2.2, while SPT’s Seinfeld, Warner Bros.’ The Middle, Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show and Twentieth’s King of the Hill all were flat at a 2.0, 1.7, 1.6 and 1.5, respectively.

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.