While most syndicated shows were flat or down in the week ending Feb. 15, Dr. Phil equaled its highest rating of the season, with a 6% jump to a 3.7, and narrowed the gap on leader Oprah to 8/10s of a point.
CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil got a Valentine from Nielsen in the week ending Feb. 15 — it was the only one of 24 daytime strips in first-run syndication to improve from the week before.
While most shows were losing ground, Phil equaled its highest rating of the season, with a 6% jump to a 3.7, and narrowed the gap on leader CBS Television Distribution’s Oprah to eight-tenths of a rating point. That’s the closest the two shows have been to each other since mid-December of last year.
Phil‘s biggest draw of the week was a show on octuplet mom Nadya Suleman, which sent ratings up 20% on Feb. 11.
Other chatfests and, indeed, most other syndicated shows were unable to make much ratings headway due, in part, to preemptions for coverage of the president’s speech on Feb. 9 and the Buffalo plane crash on Feb. 13. In New York, some stations also broke away from regular programming for ceremonies honoring the crew of Flight 1549 on Feb. 9. In addition, this week last year was part of the February sweep, but due to the expected DTV transition on Feb. 18, this year the sweep was moved to March and many shows were in reruns.
Oprah held the talk show top spot for the 511th week in a row, but was down 8% to a 4.5; Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis and Kelly lost 7% to a 2.6; Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres was flat at a 2.3; NBCU’s Maury fell 5% to a 1.8; CBS Television Distribution’s Rachael Ray slipped 6% to a 1.7; NBCU’s Jerry Springer was unchanged at a 1.2; while Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks dropped 17% to a 1.0, tying NBCU’s Steve Wilkos Show, which was down 9% to a 1.0.
Besides Dr. Phil, the only other strip in first run moving up from the week before was CBS Television Distribution’s The Insider, which got a boost from its next-day coverage of the Grammy Awards and rose 5% to a 2.0 after ratings jumped 16% to a 2.2 on both Feb. 9 and 10.
CBS Television Distribution’s Entertainment Tonight led the magazines with a 4.5, dipping 2%; CBS Television Distribution’s Inside Edition dropped 3% to a 3.1; Warner Bros.’ TMZ and NBCU’s Access Hollywood were flat at a 2.3 and a 2.2, respectively; and Warner Bros.’ Extra eroded 11% to a 1.7.
CBS Television Distribution’s The Doctors was the top-rated freshman strip for the third week in a row, holding steady at a 1.9. Right behind was NBCU’s Deal or No Deal at an unchanged 1.8; Warner Bros.’ Bonnie Hunt slid 10% to a 0.9, tying Sony’s Judge Karen, which was flat; and Debmar-Mercury’s Trivial Pursuit: America Plays and Program Partners’ Family Court with Judge Penny were unchanged at a 0.6 and a 0.5, respectively
In court, CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Judy ruled, despite a 2% dip to a 4.6, however Judy was the highest-rated strip in daytime.
CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Joe Brown eased 8% to a 2.2; Warner Bros.’ People’s Court tumbled 14% to a new season low 1.9; while Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis and Twentieth’s Judge Alex each fell 6% to a 1.6.
Game shows were all down, with CBS Television Distribution’s Wheel of Fortune skidding 6% to a 7.4; CBS Television Distribution’s Jeopardy! losing 5% to a 6.2; Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire plunging 8% to a 2.4 and matching its season low; and Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud falling 7% to a 1.4.
Among the off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men sank 9% to a 5.3; Twentieth’s Family Guy faded 5% to a 4.1; Sony’s Seinfeld slipped 3% to a 3.6; CBS Television Distribution’s Everybody Loves Raymond lost 3% to a 3.3; and Warner Bros.’ George Lopez Show was unchanged at a 2.9.
The new off-net weekly hours list was headed by CBS Television Distribution’s CSI: NY, which stumbled 13% to a 3.4; NBCU’s House was up 10% to a 2.3; Twentieth’s Boston Legal gained 6% to a 1.8; NBCU’s Monk was unchanged at a 1.7; Disney-ABC’s Desperate Housewives climbed 7% to a 1.5; and Disney-ABC’s Lost lost 10% to a 0.9.
The off-cable Litton’s Storm Stories added 17% to a 1.4 and the off-TBS strip Debmar-Mercury’s House of Payne picked up 9% to a 2.5.