Skip to main content

Syndication Ratings: Two and a Half Men Takes Top Sitcom Spot

Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men finally lived up to its billing as an “A-level” sitcom, shooting past Twentieth Television’s Family Guy to tie CBS’ Everybody Loves Raymond for the off-network sitcom lead at a 3.7 national household rating for the week of Oct. 7, according to Nielsen Media Research. That’s up 3% for the week.

Longtime leader Raymond dipped 5%. Meanwhile, Family Guy, which hit a high of a 4.2 in week two, dropped to a 3.6 in its fourth week, dropping 3% and finishing just behind the top two.

Sony veteran Seinfeld, in fourth place, fell 6% to a 3.4. Sony’s King of Queens was far behind at a 2.6, down 10% for the week. And Warner Bros.’ Friends at a 2.5 was down 7% for sixth place. Warner Bros.’ George Lopez, also a rookie, took seventh place at a 2.4, up 9%.

In other off-net news, NBC Universal’s Law & Order: Criminal Intent, an hour-long drama that stations are stripping, was up 8% to a 1.4, its best national rating thus far.

CBS’ Judge Judy, the court leader, was up 2% for the week to a 4.7. The 12-year-old show also was up 12% season-to-date for the year, one of only two first-run syndicated shows to be up by that measure. Sony’s Maria Lopez, at a 0.9, also grew 13% season-to-date for the year but was down 10% for the week.

In second place among the court shows, CBS’ Judge Joe Brown was down 4% for the week to a 2.6. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court, in third place, was flat at a 2.5. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis, in fourth place, was up 5% to a 2.2. Twentieth’s Divorce Court was up 6% to a 1.9. Twentieth’s Judge Alex at a 1.7 and Sony’s Judge Hatchett and Twentieth’s Cristina’s Court at a 1.2 all were flat.

Sony’s rookie court show, Judge David Young, scored a 0.9 in its fourth week on the air, up 13% from week three. That also makes it the second-highest-rated rookie for the week. Radar Entertainment’s Jury Duty was reprocessed for the week after barely making the chart at a 0.2 in its second week on the air.

Meanwhile, tabloid favorite Britney Spears may be ruining her life, but she still gets ratings. A Los Angeles judge’s decision to give custody of her two sons to her ex-husband, Kevin Federline, drove most of the entertainment newsmagazines up for the week, even though levels of people using television were down 350,000 from the prior week.

CBS’ Entertainment Tonight scored a 4.8, tying the prior week to earn the show’s highest rating since early June. ET spinoff CBS’ The Insider jumped 9% to a 2.5, the week’s biggest increase among entertainment magazines and The Insider’s best showing in 16 weeks. On Oct. 2, the day the Spears story broke, The Insider’s ratings shot up 26% to a 2.9. That’s the biggest single day the show has had since last April.

NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood had its best rating in 10 weeks with a 2.4, up 4%. And Warner Bros.’ Extra held steady at a 1.8, tying Warner Bros.’ TMZ in its fourth week. That’s up 6% from the prior week but down 10% from its Sept. 10 premiere week. TMZ, syndication’s only new access show, remained the first-run rookie leader.

CBS’ Inside Edition, more news than entertainment show, retained its grip in second place and was flat at a 3.3.

Of the 12 talk shows, only CBS’ Dr. Phil gained on the week, earning the show’s best ratings since the last May sweep, up 2% to a 4.6. Dr. Phil was also the only talk show up from the same week last year, growing by 2%. Dr. Phil’s strong showing was driven by a 4.9 on Oct. 1, with an episode about Louisiana’s Jena 6.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis and Kelly was third at a 2.9, down 6%, while Warner Bros.’ Ellen, CBS’ Rachael Ray and NBCU’s Maury all tied for fourth at a 1.8. Ellen and Rachael were down 5%, while Maury was flat. CBS’ Oprah, the top talker, was down 2% to a 5.3.

Among the talk rookies, NBCU’s The Steve Wilkos Show and Twentieth’s The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet tied at a 0.8, both unchanged for the week.

In other rookie news, Twentieth’s Temptation finally appeared on the ratings chart at a 0.4 after being reprocessed by Nielsen for the past three weeks. Program Partners’ Merv Griffin’s Crosswords remained unchanged at a 0.8.