Syndication Ratings: Syndies Start Upward Climb as Days Shorten

The start of daylight savings and the November sweep were both in full effect in the week ending Nov 9, with several syndies hitting season highs. Meanwhile, a few shows were hurt by the President’s post-election news conference on Nov. 5, which caused a number of preemptions.

All of the top five magazines were in the plus column.

With CBS’ Thursday Night Football done for the season, CBS Television Distribution’s leader Entertainment Tonight hit its best ratings in 32 weeks, climbing 6% to a new season-high 3.6 live plus same day household ratings average, according to Nielsen Media Research.

CTD’s Inside Edition gained 10% to a new season-high 3.2. Warner Bros.’ TMZ perked up 6% to a 1.9. NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood clocked the genre’s sharpest increase, leaping 13% for the week to a 1.8. Warner Bros.’ Extra, which was preempted 30 times during the week by election news and college football, gained 7% to a four-week high 1.5 CTD’s The Insider held steady at its season-high 1.3.

Twentieth’s Dish Nation moved up 10% to a 1.1, matching its season high, while Trifecta’s OK! TV unchanged at a 0.2.

Elsewhere, MGM’s viral video show, RightThisMinute, grew 6% for the week to a new season-high 1.7, up 55% from last year after adding many station and time-period upgrades this season.

Most game shows played well. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! both hit new season highs. Wheel rolled to a 7.2 in households, inching a tenth ahead of CTD’s Judge Judy for the first time in 33 weeks, while advancing 4% from the prior session and staying even with last year. Jeopardy! notched a 6.7, up 3% for the week and year. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud finished 5% lower for the week at a 5.9, but was up 18% from last year at this time. Among women 25-54, Feud led the game shows with a 2.8, followed by Wheel at a 2.5 and Jeopardy! at a 2.3.

Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire showed improvement with a 1.9 in households in its ninth week with new host Terry Crews, up 6% for the week but down 14% from last year at this time.

In daytime, CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil was the only top talker to improve from the prior week, while marking its 10th consecutive week atop the field. With a new season-high 3.4. Phil also was the only talker in the top five to improve from the prior week, strengthening 6%, although the show dropped 6% below the same week last year when the show had a two-part exclusive with Ariel Castro kidnapping victim Michelle Knight. Phil also led among women 25-54, growing 5% to a first-place 1.8.

In second place, Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael maintained its season-high 3.1 in households, surging 11% from last year. Warner Bros.’ Ellen was unchanged at a 2.8, although down 7% from last year.

NBCU’s Maury held firm at a 2.0. NBCU’s Steve Harvey slipped 11% to a 1.7, thanks to Presidential preemptions that were heavy but not enough to allow Nielsen to break out that day’s ratings from the show’s weekly average.

NBCU’s Steve Wilkos shot up 14% to a 1.6 in households, and grew 10% to a 1.1 in the key women 25-54 demo. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams remained at a 1.6. Both shows were up 14% from last year at this time, the biggest annual increases of any talkers.

Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz held at a 1.5, while increasing 14% in the demo to a 0.8. NBCU’s Jerry Springer spiked 8% to a 1.3, tying CTD’s Rachael Ray, which was flat in households and up 14% in the demo to a 0.8, tying Oz. SPT’s Queen Latifah stayed level at its season high 1.1, up 10% from last year at this time.

CTD’s The Doctors dipped 9% to a 1.0, while Meredith’s The Better Show was flat at a 0.2.

Among the first-run rookies, CTD’s Hot Bench declined 6% to a 1.5, after hitting a new series high in the prior session. Hot Bench led the first-run rookies among women 25-54 at a 0.8, down 11% from the prior week. NBCU’s already-renewed Meredith Vieira was steady at a 1.2. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game, with numerous access clearances in top markets, tied Meredith with an unchanged 1.2. Warner Bros.’ The Real, which skews young with a median viewer age of 46.3, remained at a 1.0 in households for the sixth week in a row. Trifecta’s Judge Faith faded 14% to a 0.6 in households.

Meanwhile, Judge Judy led the veteran court shows, gaining 3% to a 7.1.

In a distant second place, Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was flat at a 1.7. Twentieth’s Divorce Court was flat at a 1.5 for the seventh straight week. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis moved 7% lower to a 1.3. MGM’s Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court lost 8% to a 1.2.

After a slow start to the season, the arrival of dark days and colder weather finally sent the sitcoms climbing. Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory heated up 17% from the prior week to a new season high 6.3. Twentieth’s Modern Family also hit a new season high, adding 19% to a 4.3. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men declined 3% to a 2.9. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother gained 8% to a new season high 2.6. Twentieth’s Family Guy grew 9% to a 2.5. Warner Bros.’ freshman Mike & Molly climbed 5% to a new season high 2.2. SPT’s Seinfeld slid 5% to a 1.8. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show was flat at a 1.6, while Twentieth's King of the Hill rose 8% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ The Middle, which Hallmark has pulled for the rest of the year in favor of holiday programming, lost 32% to a new season low 1.3.

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.