Syndication Ratings: Sweeping in Season Highs

Halfway through the November sweep in the week ending Nov. 16, talk and game shows came on strong, with Dr. Phil,Ellen, Maury, Queen Latifah, Judge Judy, Paternity CourtWheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! all hitting season highs and Family Feud hitting both a season high and an all-time high.

CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil led the talkers with a new season high 3.5, that show’s best performance in 28 weeks. Continuing with its ripped-from-the-headlines sweeps stories, Phil was up 3% from the prior week and 9% from last year at this time. Among daytime’s key sales demographic of women 25-54, Phil finished first at a 1.7, a 6% dip from the prior week.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael held steady at its season high 3.1 for second place among the talkers, a 7% climb from last year at this time.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen added 4% to a season high 2.9, unchanged from last year. Among women 25-54, Ellen came in second at a 1.6, down 6% for the week, followed by Live at a 1.5, up 7% for the week and tying NBCUniversal’s Maury, which also was up 7% for the week.

In households, Maury had its biggest week since April, advancing 5% to a new season high 2.1. NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey bounced back 12% to a 1.9 in households, and also gained 13% in the demo to a 0.9.

NBCU’s Steve Wilkos was steady at a 1.6, tying Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which was steady, and SPT’s Dr. Oz, which was up 7% for the week for its best performance since its September premiere. Both Wilkos and Wendygrew 14% from last year, talk’s biggest annual increases, while Oz, which this year faced downgrades and the loss of many double-runs, is off 27% from last year.

CTD’s Rachael Ray rallied 8% to a 1.4. NBCU’s Jerry Springer remained at a 1.3. SPT’s Queen Latifah, which is ending its run, added 9% to a new season high 1.2 and improved 9% from last year at this time. CTD’s The Doctors was steady at a 1.0, as was Meredith’s The Better Show at a 0.2.

CTD’s Hot Bench led the rookies, with a 13% gain in households to a 1.7, the show’s best week yet, up 31% from September and its fourth new high in the eight weeks since the show premiered. Among women 25-54, Hot Bench was steady at a 0.8 and finished in a first-place tie with Warner Bros.’ panel talker, The Real, which improved 14% in the demo.

NBCU’s Meredith Vieira, which will return next season, held at a 1.2, tying Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game, which was unchanged. The Real remained at a 1.0 in households for the seventh consecutive week. Trifecta’s Judge Faith rebounded 17% to a 0.7 in households.

CTD’s Judge Judy scored a new season high 7.4, gaining 4% from the prior week, and tying CTD’s Wheel of Fortune for the overall syndication lead.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court climbed 6% to a 1.8. Twentieth’s Divorce Court was flat at a 1.5 for the eighth straight week. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis moved up 8% to a 1.4, tying MGM’s Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court, which grew 17% to a new season high. Paternity Court is up 40% from last year at this time.

MGM’s video variety show RightThisMinute was unchanged at its season high 1.7.

In access, magazines were mixed coming off a strong prior week. CTD’s Entertainment Tonight dipped 3% from its previous week’s season high to a 3.5. CTD’s Inside Edition retreated 3% to a 3.1. Warner Bros.’ TMZ added 5% to a 2.0. NBCU’s Access Hollywood slipped 6% to a 1.7. Warner Bros.’ Extra held steady at a 1.5. CTD’s The Insider was off 8% to a 1.2. Twentieth’s Dish Nation dropped 9% for the week to a 1.0, even year to year, while Trifecta’s OK! TV was unchanged for the week at a 0.2. 

All of the top three game shows hit new season highs. Wheel of Fortune gained 3% for the week to the aforementioned 7.4, down 1% from last year. CTD’s Jeopardy! improved 4% for the week and 8% for the year to a 7.0. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud, which is produced by FremantleMedia North America, hit an all-time high, gaining 8% for the week to a 6.4, up 23% from last year at this time. Among women 25-54, Feud finished first among the games with a 3.1, followed by Wheel’s 2.6 and Jeopardy!’s 2.4. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire was unchanged for the week at a 1.9 in households, but down 10% from last year at this time.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory backed off 3% from the prior week to a 6.1 to remain atop the off-net sitcoms. Twentieth’s Modern Family fell 7% to a 4.0. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men perked up 7% to a 3.1. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother moved 4% lower to a 2.5, tying Twentieth’s Family Guy, which was flat. Warner Bros.’ newcomer Mike & Molly continued to grow, advancing 5% to a new season high 2.3. SPT’s Seinfeld stayed at a 1.8. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show was unchanged at a 1.6. Warner Bros.’ The Middle recovered 15% to a 1.5, even though that show is being preempted on the Hallmark Channel in favor of holiday programming. Twentieth’s King of the Hill was flat at a 1.4.

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.