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Syndication Ratings: Talkers, Games Hit and Hold Season Highs

TV viewership was down in the week ending November 24, with average levels of people using television declining by more than 1.5 million viewers, but many syndicated talkers managed to hold at their season highs.

CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil was the only talk show in the top ten to gain during the week, adding 3% to a 3.3 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, the show’s second-strongest performance of this season.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen, in second place, held at a 2.9, while Disney/ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael dipped 3% to a 2.8. Both Ellen and Live climbed 12% from last year at this time, however. 

Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz held steady for the week at its season-high 2.2, tying NBCUniversal’s Maury, which was off 4%.

NBCU’s Steve Harvey maintained its series-high 1.8 in households for a fourth straight week, up 38% from last year, which was talk’s biggest year-to-year gain. Harvey also spiked 20% from the prior week among women 25-54 to a new series high 1.2.

Disney/ABC’s Katie held firm, posting a 1.7 in households. CTD’s Rachael Ray receded 7% to a 1.4, tying Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which remained at it season-high 1.4 for the sixth consecutive week, and NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, which also remained at its season high. NBCU’s Jerry Springer held firm at its season-high 1.3. CTD’s The Doctors rose 9% to a 1.2, matching its season high. NBCU’s Trisha slipped 17% from its series high in the prior week to a 0.5, while Meredith’s The Better Show was flat at a 0.2.

Among the rookies, SPT’s Queen Latifah dropped 9% to a 1.0. Warner Bros.’ fellow freshman, Bethenny, eased 11% to a 0.8, but finished first among rookies among women 25-54, holding steady at a 0.7 and improving 17% from last year’s time period average. CTD’s The Test was marked up 17% to a 0.7, a new high for the shout show. In late night, CTD’s Arsenio Hall remained at a consistent 0.7 for the seventh straight week. 

CTD’s Judge Judy dipped 1% to a 7.5 after setting new season records in the previous three weeks. Judy also tied CTD’s access game show, Wheel of Fortune, to lead syndication.

In second place among the court shows, Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was flat at a 1.9. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis and Twentieth’s Judge Alex both were unchanged at a 1.6, respectively. Twentieth’s Divorce Court eroded 12% to a 1.5, while MGM’s rookie Paternity Court lost 10% to a 0.9.

Among the top-tier magazines, Warner Bros.’ Extra was the only show to improve, gaining 6% for the week and 13% for the year to a 1.7, equalling its previous season high. In addition, Extra Weekend hit a new season-high 1.1, up 22% for both the prior week and year.

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight remained at its season high for the third week in a row, leading the magazines at a 3.9, up 15% from last year at this time. CTD’s Inside Edition dropped 6% to a 2.9. Warner Bros.’ TMZ was flat at a 1.9. NBCU’s Access Hollywood, which hit a new season high in the prior week, relinquished 5% to a 1.8, but was still up 13% from last year. CTD’s omg! Insider backed off 6% to a 1.5 from last week’s 1.6, the highest rating the show has scored since being reformatted, but was still up 7% from last year.

MGM’s RightThisMinute recovered 10% to a 1.1. Twentieth’s Dish Nation, which was renewed this week for a third season, dropped 10% to a 0.9. Trifecta’s America Now jumped 33% — adding one-tenth of a ratings point — to a new season-high 0.4, after holding at a 0.3 for ten weeks in a row. Trifecta’s rookie OK! TV remained at a 0.2 for the 12th straight week.

In access, CTD’s Wheel of Fortune led the game shows at a 7.5, unchanged form the prior week. CTD’s Jeopardy! edged up 3% to a new season-high 6.7. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud advanced 6% to a new season-high 5.5, the show's best rating since 1991. Disney/ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire held steady at a 2.1.

Twentieth’s Modern Family led the rookie sitcoms with a new season-high 4.8. Twentieth’s animated Cleveland Show lost 10% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.’ The Middle was flat at a 1.5, while SPT’s Community also held at a 0.4.

The veteran off-net sitcoms continued to be led by Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory, which declined 5% to a 6.0. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men also softened, losing 3% to a 3.6. Twentieth’s Family Guy was flat at a 2.9. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother moved 5% lower to a 2.0, while Twentieth’s King of the Hill and Warner Bros.’ Friends both fell 11% to a 1.7, tying SPT’s Seinfeld, which slipped 6% to a 1.7.