Syndie Shows Surge in Sweeps

Ratings for most of the big daytime, late-night and rookie syndicated shows surged to new season highs in the week ending Nov. 28, which included the third full week of the sweep.

The Thanksgiving and Black Friday holidays, Nov. 25 and 26, were not included in the averages for some strips.

Talk shows hitting new season highs were led by King World’s Dr. Phil, which tied the highest ratings in its three-year history, up 7% to a 5.9.

That rating was helped by Dr. Phil’s Nov. 22 episode on stage mothers, which reached a total audience of 9.77 million households. In the past three weeks, Dr. Phil’s ratings have been on a roll, up 18%.

Other shows setting new-season marks: NBC Universal’s Maury, up 3% to a 3.0; Warner Bros.’ The Ellen DeGeneres Show, up 10% to a 2.2, the sharpest year-to-year increase of any strip in syndication, up 29%; NBC U’s Jerry Springer, up 5% to a 2.1; NBC U’s Starting Over,up 9% to a 1.2; and Twentieth’s Good Day Live, up 25% to a 1.0.

King World’s Oprah Winfrey Show slipped to a new season low 7.1, down 12% from the prior week and down 8% from last year at this time. Season to date, compared with season-to-date last year, Oprah is up 15% and, up or down, remains virtually untouchable as talk’s top show.

Elsewhere in daytime and in sharp contrast to the talkers, where six of nine hit personal bests, Paramount’s Judge Joe Brown was the only court show to hit a season high, though Judge Judy tied her top mark.

Judge Joe was up 6% to a 3.5. Court show queen, Paramount’s Judge Judy, continued to lead all gavelers with a 5.1, however, unchanged from its previous week’s season-high mark.

In late night, NBC U’s Blind Date made it 11 weeks in a row as the number-one relationship show including ties, up 9% to a new season high 1.2.

This year’s top-rated rookie, Paramount’s The Insider, had its best week ever, up 4% to a 2.9 for its third new-series high in the past four weeks. So far, Insider has grown 29% in the month of November.

Other rookies hitting new series highs were Buena Vista’s The Tony Danza Show, which gained 15% to a 1.5; Twentieth’s Ambush Makeover, which was up 20% to a 1.2; and Sony’s Pat Croce: Moving In, which was up 14% to a 0.8.

NBC U’s The Jane Pauley Show, at a 1.5; Warner Bros.’ The Larry Elder Show at a 0.9, and Sony’s Life & Style at a 0.5, all were unchanged.

Among rookie off-nets, Twentieth’s Malcolm in the Middle was down 9% to a 3.1 while Twentieth’s Yes, Dear rose 11% to a new series high 2.0, elbowing out NBC U’s Fear Factor, down 5% to a 1.9. Paramount’s Girlfriends slid 12% to a 1.5.

The week also included the fourth and final weekend of the sweep. The result of the race between weekly hours had Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight Weekend outrating all first-runs with a 3.4, up 26% from October.

MGM’s Stargate SG-1 was second, up 11% to a 2.0, followed by NBC U’s Access Hollywood Weekend, up 19% to a 1.9, and Warner Bros.’ Extra! Weekend, up 13% to a 1.7.

Among the off-net weekly hours, newcomer King World’s CSI continued to dominate, averaging a 5.6, up 10% from the October book, followed by Warner Bros.’ The West Wing, unchanged at a 1.9; Twentieth’s The Practice, up 13% to a 1.8; and Warner Bros.’ ER, unchanged at a 1.7.

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.