Syndication Ratings: Syndies Steady Headed Into November Sweeps

Syndies held up in the week ending Oct. 28, even though it was a busy week for television, with the third presidential debate on Oct. 22, the World Series on Oct. 24, 25, 27 and 28, and the kick-off of the November sweep on Oct. 25.

CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil, which has been the top talker every week this season, advanced 3% for the week and the year to a 3.0 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. Only two other veteran shows grew for the week and the year: Warner Bros.' Ellen, on track for its highest-rated season ever, and NBCUniversal's Steve Wilkos.

Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly and Michael stayed steady in second place, dipping 4% from the prior week to a 2.5. Ellen added 9% from the prior week and 4% from last year to a 2.4. Sony's Dr. Oz inched up 5% for the week to a 2.3, although the show is down 18 % from last October. NBCU's Maury held firm at a 2.1.

Wilkos was up 8% for the week and year to a 1.4, tying CTD's Rachael Ray and The Doctors, both of which were flat. NBCU's Jerry Springer slipped 7% to a 1.3. Warner Bros.' Anderson Live!, which will end its run after this season, was unchanged at a 1.1. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams and Jeremy Kyle each were flat at a 1.0 and 0.5, respectively.

The rookie talkers were largely steady for the week. Disney-ABC's Katie remained at a 1.9 for the third week in a row. NBCU's Steve Harvey was the only rookie to lose ground, dropping 8% to a 1.2. CTD's Jeff Probst and Twentieth's Ricki Lake both were stable at a 0.7, while NBCU's Trisha held at a 0.5.

Elsewhere, NBCU's Access Hollywood Live, with hosts Billy Bush and Kit Hoover, averaged a 1.0/3 in its 11 markets, even with the prior week and up 11% over its Nov. 2011 sweep performance. Among women 25-54, Access Hollywood Live earned a 0.8/6, up 14% over the prior frame and up 33% over last November.

Warner Bros.' new interactive game show, Let's Ask America, averaged 1.7/4 household rating/share in its seven metered markets, but improved 33% among women 25-54 to a 0.8/3. Let's Ask America is airing on 14 Scripps-owned stations.

CTD's Judge Judy spiked 8% to a 6.7, and was syndication's top-rated show for the fourth week this season. CTD's Judge Joe Brown grew 9% from the prior week to a second-place 2.5. Warner Bros.' People's Court retreated 5% to a 1.8. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis was flat at a 1.6. Twentieth's Judge Alex relinquished 7% to a 1.3, tying Twentieth's Divorce Court, which was flat. Entertainment Studios' America's Court declined 11% to a 0.8. ES' rookie Justice for All was steady at a 0.5, while ES' other freshman, We the People, trailed at a 0.2, down 33% or one-tenth of a ratings point from the prior week.

The syndie magazines bucked strong head winds, facing plenty of preemptions in West Coast markets for coverage of the presidential debate and World Series baseball.

CTD's top magazine, Entertainment Tonight, gained 3% for the week and the year to a 3.9, it's best rating thus far this season. CTD's Inside Edition and Warner Bros.' TMZ were steady compared to the prior frame at a 3.0 and 1.6, respectively. NBCU's Access Hollywood added 7% to a 1.6 to tie TMZ. CTD's The Insider held its ground at a 1.5, tying Warner Bros.' Extra, which gained 7% boost to a 1.5. Twentieth's newcomer Dish Nation was the exception, giving back 11%, or one-tenth of a point, to a 0.8.

CTD's Wheel of Fortune inched up 2% from the prior week to a 6.6, landing in second in overall syndication. CTD's Jeopardy! added 5% to a 6.0. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud gave back 2% to a 4.1, but was still up 37% from last year at this time. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was flat at a 2.3, while NBCU's newcomer Baggage fell 9% to a 1.0.

Off-net sitcoms were led by Warner Bros.' Big Bang Theory, which, without baseball preemptions on TBS, jumped 9% from the prior session to a 6.2, and third place in overall syndication. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men and Twentieth's Family Guy both were flat at a 4.7 and a 3.6, respectively. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother lost 8% to a 2.3. Sony's Seinfeld mastered an 11% increase to a 2.1. Twentieth's King of the Hill descended 10% to a 1.9, tying Sony's Everybody Loves Raymond and Warner Bros.' Friends, both of which also dropped 10%.

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.