Two shows with the “Octomom” boosted Phil to a new season high. Oprah bettered its week-before number by 22%. Other shows with higher ratings include Access Hollywood, ET, Bonnie Hunt and many of the new off-net weekly hours.
CBS Television Distribution’s talk duo of Dr. Phil and Oprah were the standouts in the national syndication ratings for the last full week before the March sweep, the week ending March1.
While the vast majority of strips were down or flat, Phil was the only show to hit a new season high, surging 14% from the week before to a 4.1. Helping to fuel the sharp advance were two shows with the so-called “Octomom,” Nadya Suleman, which rocketed 31% to a 4.7 for part one on Feb. 25, and an even more dramatic 42% to a 5.1 for part two on Feb. 26, giving host Phil McGraw time period wins in 30 of the top 40 markets.
Oprah also had a big week, jumping 22% to a 5.6, the largest increase of any first-run syndicated show. Tuesday’s episode, “Octuplet Controversy: Dr. Oz Weighs In,” was the highest rated episode of the week with a 6.5
Other talkers were less successful. Third-place Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis and Kelly sank 11% to a new season low 2.4. Close behind in fourth was Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres at a 2.2, which was down 4%; CBS Television Distribution’s Rachael Ray held steady at a 1.8, but NBCU’s Maury tumbled 16% to a 1.6; and NBCU’s Jerry Springer slipped 8% to a 1.1.
In access, some shows were preempted or bumped to much later time slots in some markets by the president’s address to Congress on Feb. 24. However, a couple of magazines, CBS Television Distribution’s Entertainment Tonight and NBCU’s Access Hollywood, bucked the general downtrend with coverage of the Feb. 22 Academy Awards.
Top-rated ET rose 2% to a 4.6 after seeing a 13% increase to a 5.1 for its Oscar coverage on Feb. 23.
In second place, CBS Television Distribution’s Inside Edition slid 6% to a 3.1; Warner Bros.’ TMZ lost 4% to a 2.2; Access Hollywood gained 5% to a 2.1; CBS Television Distribution’s The Insider held firm at a 2.0; and Warner Bros.’ Extra dropped 6% to a 1.7.
Among the freshman, CBS Television Distribution’s The Doctors was in command with a 1.9, which was even with the week before. This marks the sixth consecutive week that it was either first or tied for first among the newcomers.
NBCU’s Deal or No Deal dropped 11% to a 1.7; Warner Bros.’ Bonnie Hunt added 11% to a 1.0; Sony’s Judge Karen fell 10% to a 0.9; and Debmar-Mercury’s Trivial Pursuit: America Plays and Program Partners’ Family Court with Judge Penny were unchanged at 0.6 and 0.5, respectively.
Court shows were dominated by CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Judy with a 4.5, although down 2% from the week before, Judy had more than double the rating of any other gaveler.
CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Joe Brown was down 8% to a 2.2, but was still more than 20% higher than the third-place judge show Warner Bros.’ People’s Court, which tumbled 10% to a new season low 1.8.
Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis was flat at a 1.6 and Twentieth’s Judge Alex fell 6% to a 1.5.
Game show ratings were fairly soft. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire remained stuck at its season low 2.4 for a third straight week, despite increased publicity from Slumdog Millionaire which won the Academy Award for best picture.
Leader CBS Television Distribution’s Wheel of Fortune was down 1% to a 7.5; CBS Television Distribution’s Jeopardy! declined 2% to a 6.2; and Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud tanked, loosing 13% to a 1.4.
Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men led the off-net sitcoms, but was down 7% to a 5.1; Twentieth’s Family Guy was flat at a 4.1; Sony’s Seinfeld stayed steady at a 3.8; and CBS Television Distribution’s Everybody Loves Raymond lost 3% to a 3.3.
The new off-net weekly hours were mostly higher, with CBS Television Distribution’s CSI: NY up 3% to a 3.6. Ratings for NBCU’s House spiked 25% to a 2.5; NBCU’s Monk leaped 20% to a 1.8; Twentieth’s Boston Legal gained 7% to a 1.6; and Disney-ABC’s Desperate Housewives advanced 8% to a 1.3.
The off-cable Litton’s Storm Stories skidded 19% to a 1.3 and the off-TBS strip Debmar-Mercury’s House of Payne slipped 11% to a 2.4.