Syndication Ratings: Syndies Come Back to Life Post-Olympics

Syndicated shows got a post-Olympics bump in the week ending Aug. 19, after suffering low ratings due to two weeks of preemptions and strong competition.

CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil returned to the top of the talk pack despite being in repeats for the week. Phil gained 20% from the prior week and 9% for the year to a 2.4 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. NBCUniversal's conflict talker, Maury, which had enjoyed two weeks at or tied for number one during the Olympics, tied Sony's Dr. Oz for second place. Both shows improved 5% to a 2.2. Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly, expected to announce Fox football commentator Michael Strahan as Kelly Ripa's new co-host on Sept. 4, spiked 24% to a 2.1.

Warner Bros.' Ellen, CTD's The Doctors and CTD's Rachael Ray earned a 1.6, 1.4 and 1.3, respectively, after being broken out of the ratings for the previous two weeks. NBCU's Jerry Springer added 8% to a 1.4, tying CTD's The Doctors. NBCU's Steve Wilkos and Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams each were flat at a 1.2 and 0.8, respectively.

Warner Bros.' Anderson finished out one of its last remaining weeks as a rookie with a 1.1 after two weeks of heavy preemptions and breakouts. In late night, CTD's dating show Excused held steady at a 0.6. Debmar-Mercury's Jeremy Kyle was flat at a 0.5, while Entertainment Studios' We the People posted a 0.4.

CTD's court leader, Judge Judy, advanced 9% from the prior week to a 6.2, and scored first-run syndication's highest rating. CTD's Judge Joe Brown also climbed 9% to a 2.4. Warner Bros.' People's Court picked up 6% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis was unchanged at a 1.4, tying Twentieth's Judge Alex, which added 8% to a 1.4, and Twentieth's Divorce Court, which climbed 17% to a 1.4. Entertainment Studios' America's Court tacked on 13% to a 0.9.

Access shows were mostly higher after being steamrolled by the Olympics for the previous two sessions. NBCU's Access Hollywood fell back to earth, easing 22% to a 1.8, after clocking its highest ratings in nearly five years during the games. Still, Access Hollywood was up 6% from last year at this time.

CTD's magazine leader Entertainment Tonight jumped 9% from the prior week to a 3.5. CTD's Inside Edition was flat at a 2.8. Warner Bros.' TMZ recovered 6% to a 1.8. CTD's The Insider surged 15% to a 1.5, while Warner Bros.' Extra!, which was broken out of the ratings by Nielsen for the prior two weeks due to numerous preemptions, reported a 1.4.

Game shows came back to life after being hammered for the past two frames. CTD's game leader Wheel of Fortune gained 12% from the prior week to a 5.8. CTD's Jeopardy! rose 16% to a 5.0. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud added 19% to a 3.2. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire ballooned 28% to a 2.3.

Finally, Warner Bros.' Big Bang Theory topped the off-net sitcoms, leading the overall syndie chart at a 6.6, up 6% for the week. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men was unchanged at a 4.8. Twentieth's Family Guy slipped 5% to a 3.7. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother was flat at a 2.6. Twentieth's King of the Hill and Sony's Seinfeld strengthened 5% to a 2.3. Warner Bros.' Friends and CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond rallied 17% and 5%, respectively, to tie at a 2.1.

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.