Coronavirus Coverage Spikes Magazines

Five of the top seven shows in the genre post week-to-week gains in the frame ending March 15, three in double digits.

Extra, which featured tons of breaking coronavirus coverage each day, was the standout in the session ending March 15, skyrocketing 22% from the week before to a new season high. Although the series which is fronted by the popular Billy Bush, was the only strip anywhere in syndication to clock a new season record, other entertainment magazines lit up the frame with double-digit increases as many viewers turned to high credibility sources for virus updates.

For example, Entertainment Tonight finished first among all mags for the ninth time in 10 weeks with an 11% surge to 3.0 a live-plus-same-day national Nielsen rating, matching its season high.

And Access Hollywood had a big impact, hitting an eight-week high while leaping 15% to a 1.5 which equaled its best rating of the whole season.

Meanwhile, some of the top daytime shows declined in what was the first week of Daylight Saving Time and after being riddled with preemptions throughout the week for virus news and President Trump’s March 13 National Emergency declaration.

A case in point was overall season-to-date household ratings leader Judge Judy, which got hit with a number of large-market blackouts and gave back 8% to a 5.9. Still, that blew away the court shows for a remarkable 1,225th week in a row.

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Among talk shows, Dr. Phil aired repeats on some days, yielding 13% to a  2.1, which was good enough to lead the category for the seventh straight week and the 180th time in the past 184 weeks.


Just a tick behind Phil was Live with Kelly and Ryan with a strong showing at a steady 2.0.

Other big talkers included Ellen DeGeneres, although it fell 5% to a 1.8, and rising stars Kelly Clarkson and Tamron Hall. Clarkson completed avoided the downtrend, holding its own at a 1.3 and outperforming 10 of the competing 13 talk shows.

Hall also sparkled, spiking 11% to a 1.0 despite being heavily preempted.

The week’s top-rated daytime talk shows in the women 25-54 demo were:

  • Dr. Phil (0.8, -11% from the week before), tied with Live with Kelly and Ryan (0.8, unchanged) and Ellen DeGeneres (0.8, unchanged)
  • Kelly Clarkson (0.6, unchanged), tied with Maury (0.6, unchanged) and Wendy Williams (0.6, unchanged)

In the household rating rankings that follow, % change is from the previous week; * indicates a new season-high rating; ** indicates a new season low; NC indicates no change from the previous week; NA means not applicable.


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Dr. Phil (CTD) 2.1 -13%

Live with Kelly and Ryan (Disney-ABC) 2.0 NC

Ellen DeGeneres (WBDTD) 1.8 -5%

Wendy Williams (Debmar-Mercury) 1.2 -8%

Maury (NBCU) 1.1 NC

Rachael Ray (CTD) 1.0 NC

Steve Wilkos (NBCU) 0.9 NC

Dr. Oz (Sony) 0.9 NC

The Real (WBDTD) 0.6 NC

The Doctors (CTD) 0.5 NC

Jerry Springer (NBCU) 0.4 +33%


The Kelly Clarkson Show (NBCU) 1.3 NC

Tamron Hall (Disney-ABC) 1.0 +11%

25 Words or Less (CTD) 1.0 -9%

Judge Jerry (NBCU) 0.8 NC

America Says (Sony) 0.7 NC

Mel Robbins (Sony) 0.5 +25%

Personal Injury Court (MGM) 0.5 NC

Protection Court (Trifecta) 0.3 NC


Judge Judy (CTD) 5.9 -8%

Hot Bench(CTD) 1.9 -5%

People’s Court (WBDTD) 1.4 +8%

Judge Mathis (WBDTD) 0.8 NC

Divorce Court (20th Television) 0.6 NC

Caught in Providence (Debmar-Mercury) 0.4 -20%


Jeopardy (CTD) 6.5 +2%

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Wheel of Fortune (CTD) 6.2 +2%

Family Feud (Debmar-Mercury/FMNA) 6.0 -2%

Funny You Should Ask(Entertainment Studios) 0.5 NC


Dateline M-F (NBCU) 1.2 +9%

Chicago P.D. (NBCU) 0.9 NC

Live PD: Police Patrol (Sony) 0.8** -11%


Entertainment Tonight (CTD) 3.0 +11%

Inside Edition (CTD) 2.9 +4%

Access Hollywood (NBCU) 1.5 +15%

TMZ (WBDTD) 1.2 +9%

Extra (WBDTD) 1.1* +22%

Daily Mail TV (CTD) 0.8 NC

Celebrity Page (Trifecta) 0.2 NC


Big Bang Theory (WBDTD) 3.1 -3%

Last Man Standing (20th Television) 2.1 +5%

Modern Family (20th Television) 1.6 +7%

Two and a Half Men (WBDTD) 1.4 +8%

The Goldbergs(Sony) 1.2 +9%

Family Guy (20th Television) 1.2 NC

Black-ish (Disney-ABC) 1.0 +11%

Seinfeld (Sony) 1.0 NC

Mom (WBDTD) 1.0 +11%

Two Broke Girls (WBDTD) 0.9 NC

Mike and Molly (WBDTD) 0.9 NC



Dateline Weekly (NBCU) 3.9* +18%

Law & Order: SVU (NBCU) 1.6 NC

NCIS: New Orleans (CTD) 1.5 NC

Chicago P.D. (NBCU) 1.2 -8%

Castle (Disney-ABC) 1.2* +9%

Madam Secretary (CTD) 1.0 +11%

Major Crimes (WBDTD) 1.0* +25%

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