Syndication Ratings: As Sweep Starts, 'The Real,' 'Wendy Williams,' 'Dish Nation' Hit Series Highs

This year’s rookie class showed some signs of life as Warner Bros.’ The Real hit a series-high 1.3 live plus same day household rating, an 8% gain for the week ended Feb. 8, the first full week of the February sweep. The Real also added 10% among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54 to a series high 1.1 to lead the field.

CBS Television Distribution’s Hot Bench, Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game and NBCUniversal’s Meredith Vieira all were steady at a 1.8, 1.4 and 1.2, respectively, in households.

In the demo, Hot Bench came in second, surging 25% to a new series high 1.0, while Celebrity Name Game was flat at a 0.8 and Meredith Vieira jumped 17% to a 0.7 to match its series high. Trifecta’s Judge Faith remained at a 0.8 in households and a 0.4 in the demo.

All of this year’s freshmen first-run shows are slated to return for season two.

The veteran talkers were solid. CTD’s season-to-date talk leader Dr. Phil added 3% to a 3.7, that show’s second-highest rating of the season and the show’s best since the November sweep. Phil also led among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54 with a 1.7. Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael matched its season high with a 6% spike to a 3.3. In third place, Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres dipped 3% to a 2.9.

NBCU’s Steve Harvey remained at its season high 2.1 for a third consecutive week to finish in a tie with NBCU’s Maury, which grew 5% to a 2.1, also matching its season high.

In sixth place, Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, in its sixth season, rebounded 12% for the week and year to an all-time high 1.9.

Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz dipped 6% from a season high in the prior week to a 1.5, tying CTD’s steady Rachael Ray and NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, which added 7%. NBCU’s Jerry Springer grew 8% to a 1.4 in households.

CTD’s The Doctors remained at a 1.1, tying SPT’s Queen Latifah, which will end its run late next month, but grew 22% for the week. Meredith’s The Better Show, which will fade to black at the end of this TV season, gained 100% from a 0.1 to a 0.2.

Elsewhere in daytime, CTD’s Judge Judy easily ruled the court shows with a 3% gain to a 7.3.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court picked up 6% to a 1.9. Twentieth’s Divorce Court, Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis and MGM’s sophomore Paternity Court all were flat at a 1.6, 1.5 and 1.3, respectively.

Moving to access, the top entertainment magazines were strong following the controversy around NBC anchor Brian Williams, in which he was forced to apologize for a story he’s told for years about a helicopter mission to Iraq, as well as the story that Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, had been found unconscious in a bathtub three years after her mother’s death.

CTD's Entertainment Tonight set the pace, with a 9% increase to a 3.8. That marked the show’s second-best performance of the season and biggest score in four weeks. Warner Bros.’ TMZ jumped 10% to a new season high 2.3. NBCU’s Access Hollywood equalled its season high with an 11% surge to a 2.0. Warner Bros.’ Extra clocked a new season high 1.8, improving 20%, the strongest gain of any magazine.

CTD’s Inside Edition, which is not strictly an entertainment magazine, and CTD’s The Insider both held steady at a 3.3 and a 1.3, respectively.

Twentieth’s Dish Nation hit a new series high 1.2, while Trifecta’s OK! TV was unchanged at a 0.3.

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! led the games, with each show up 3% for the week and year to a 7.8 and 7.5, respectively. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was off 6% to a 6.8, but was still up 13% from last year at this time. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire climbed 6% for the week to a 1.9, although that was down 21% from last year.

Elsewhere, MGM’s video variety show RightThisMinute was unchanged at a 1.5.

Among the off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory slipped 3% to a 6.6. Twentieth’s Modern Family fell 7% to a 3.8. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men remained at a 3.2. Twentieth’s Family Guy added 4% to a 2.6. Warner Bros.’ Rookie Mike & Molly eased 4% to a 2.5. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother sagged 15% to a 2.3, tying SPT’s Seinfeld, which improved 5%. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show and King of the Hill each shot up 6% to a 1.9 and 1.7, respectively, while Warner Bros.’ The Middle fell 25% to a 1.5.

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.