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Syndication Ratings: Syndies Get Into Summer Swing

Most syndies rebounded in the week ending July 13, despite low levels of TV viewers and competition from the World Cup soccer semifinals, including Brazil’s shocking defeat at the hands of eventual winner Germany.

Magazines got a boost with news of Rosie O’Donnell’s surprise return to ABC’s The View. All of the top six magazines saw rising ratings, except Warner Bros.’ TMZ, which ironically broke the story on its website. CBS Television Distribution’s leader Entertainment Tonight climbed 7% from the previous week to a 3.0 live plus same day national household ratings average, according to Nielsen Media Research. CTD’s Inside Edition picked up 8% to a 2.8. NBCU’s Access Hollywood ballooned 17%, the group’s biggest increase, to hit a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ Extra grew 8% to a 1.3, and CTD’s The Insider surged 9% to a 1.2. Meanwhile, TMZ was flat at a 1.7.

Further back, MGM’s RightThisMinute rose 10% to a 1.1. Twentieth’s Dish Nation flat at a 1.0 for the 11th consecutive week. Trifecta’s OK! TV was unchanged at a 0.4, while its already canceled America Now remained at a 0.3 for the eighth straight week.

In daytime, talk shows garnered a minor victory with every show up or steady for the week.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael, the only talker to gain ground in the previous week, held steady at a first-place 2.6, rising 4% from last year at this time. This marks the fifth week in a row that Live has led the talkers.

CTD’s season-to-date talk leader Dr. Phil gained 9% to a second place 2.5, and also was up 4% from last year despite being in repeats all week.

NBCU’s Maury moved past Warner Bros.’ Ellen to land in third with a 12% spike to a 1.9. Although Ellen dropped to fourth, it was up 6% for the week to a 1.8. Among daytime's key demographic of women 25-54, Maury rallied 20% to a third-place 1.2, behind only Live’s 1.4 and Dr. Phil’s 1.3.

Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz aired mostly reruns but still gained 13% in households to a 1.7, moving ahead of Ellen among women 25-54 with an 11% jump to a 1.0. NBCU’s Steve Harvey, in repeats, moved up 14% for the week and 33% for the year in households to a 1.6. That represented the greatest weekly and yearly growth of any talk show.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams climbed 7% to a 1.5 in households, with a week of four originals. The show also gained 10% to a 1.1 in the demo, beating Oz to take fourth on that list.

Disney-ABC’s Katie, which will soon fade to black, rebounded from its all-time lowest week with five original episodes to recover 8% for the week to a 1.3. That’s still down 28% from last year at this time, the most erosion of any talker.

Similarly, NBCU’s Steve Wilkos strengthened 8% to a 1.3. CTD’s Rachael Ray, NBCU’s Jerry Springer, CTD’s The Doctors, NBCU’s canceled Trisha and Meredith’s The Better Show all were flat at a 1.2, 1.1, 1.0, 0.4 and 0.2, respectively. Better held at that number for the 33rd consecutive week.

Among the freshman talkers, SPT’s Queen Latifah, the only rookie that will return next year, jumped 11% to a 1.0, despite airing mostly repeats. Warner Bros.’ Bethenny remained mired at its season-low 0.6 for the seventh straight week, while CTD’s The Test remained at a 0.5, tying CTD’s out-of-production Arsenio Hall, which was also was flat.

All of the court shows were higher. CTD’s Judge Judy, in repeats, jumped 8% for the week and 11% for the year to a 6.9. Judy also was syndication’s top-rated strip for the 16th straight week.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court edged ahead 6% to a 1.9. Twentieth’s Divorce Court climbed 15% to a 1.5. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis and Twentieth’s canceled Judge Alex both moved up 8% to a 1.4, while MGM’s rookie Paternity Court improved 13% to a 0.9.

Among the games, CTD’s Wheel of Fortune sped up 4% from its prior-week season low to a 5.8. CTD’s Jeopardy! recovered 6% to a 5.7, keeping the household race between it and Wheel tight. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud added 7% to a 4.6. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire — soon to swap Cedric the Entertainer for Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Terry Crews, who just hosted the Television Critics Association Awards — trailed with a flat 2.0 for the fifth week in a row.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory led a robust sitcom field, heating up 9% from the previous week to a 5.8. Freshman Modern Family picked up 6% to a 3.5. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved up 3% to a 3.1. Twentieth’s Family Guy grew 17% to a 2.8. SPT’s Seinfeld strengthened 11% to a 2.0. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show gained 12% to a 1.9. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother improved 6% to a 1.8. Warner Bros.’ Friends finished 6% ahead from the prior week to a 1.7, tying Warner Bros.’ The Middle and Twentieth’s King of the Hill, both of which rose 13%.

In the metered markets, the first full week of Hollywood Today Live’s test run averaged a 0.5 rating/2 share on nine Fox stations. This was down 50% from its average lead-in and down 29% from year-ago time periods. Among women 25-54, the show posted a 0.3/3, down 57% from its lead-in and down 40% from July 2013.

Fox’s other test strip, The Daily Helpline, registered a 0.1/0 first-week household average, down 67% from its lead-in and down 80% from last year.

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.