The Doctors improves on its September debut by 38% in the most recent ratings book. Others with increases in the sweep include Bonnie Hunt, Steve Wilkos and House of Payne.
The results of the May sweep — April 23-May 20 — are in and while the news was good for the top newcomers, the vast majority of syndicated shows — like the networks — were down from last May.
One of the few bright spots in May was CBS Television Distribution’s The Doctors, which topped the freshman field with a 1.8 sweep average, up a significant 38% from its September premiere week.
In the metered markets, The Doctors was up 18% from both its lead-in and year-ago time period averages with a 2.0 rating/6 share and either won its time slot or finished No. 2 in 26 major cities.
NBCU’s Deal or No Deal, which like The Doctors has already been renewed for year two, scored a 1.5 May average, which was down 6% from its September debut. However, Deal came up big in a number of key metered markets, including New York, where it grew its 4 p.m. time period on WNBC 27% from last year to a 1.4/4.
Warner Bros.’ Bonnie Hunt, also coming back next year, averaged a 0/.9 for the sweep, up 13% from its September premiere week; Sony’s Judge Karen was down 27% from its debut to a 0.8 average in May; Debmar-Mercury’s Trivial Pursuit: America Plays was even with its debut at a 0.6; and Program Partners’ Family Court with Judge Penny lost 33% to a 0/4.
Among talkers, CBS Television Distribution’s Oprah continued to lead but was down 5% from last May to a 5.2 average. CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil slipped 32% to a 3.0, although in the metered markets it outperformed its lead-ins by a dramatic 40% on average, clocking a 2.8/7. Phil was also up over last year in several large markets, including Philadelphia where it earned a 3.4/7 on KYW at 5 p.m.
Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis and Kelly and Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres were both even with last May at 2.6 and 2.1, respectively, although Ellen was up 35% from its 56 metered market lead-in average and grew its 3 p.m. time period in New York by 33% to a 1.6/5.
NBCU’s Maury was down 11% to a 1.7 average; CBS Television Distribution’s Rachael Ray dipped 6% to a 1.7, but was up in key markets like New York, where it grew 29% from last year to a 3.1/11 and easily won its 10 a.m. time period.
Another good performer was NBCU’s Steve Wilkos Show, which was up 10% from last year to a 1.1, tying NBCU’s Jerry Springer, which was unchanged at a 1.1. Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks slipped 9% to a 1.0, but in the LPM markets was up 50% on average in her target demo of women 18-34 and grew 400% in Los Angeles in the key demo. Twentieth’s The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet was down 20% to a 0.8, but drew big numbers in numerous markets, including Memphis where it was up 34% over last year to a 4.7/12 at 9 a.m. on WHBQ.
And NBCU’s Martha was off 22% to a 0.7 average, although it improved in plenty of markets, including New York, where it took WNBC’s 11 a.m. time period up 200% from last May.
All the courtrooms were down, although leader CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Judy was down the least among the ongoing gavelers. Judy slipped 15% to a still-potent 4.1 average and scored especially well in access in markets like San Francisco, where it was up 77% from its lead-in and up 50% from last year to a 3.9/8 on KPIX.
CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Joe Brown was second with a 2.1 average, down 19% from last year, but way up in markets like New York, where it grew 40% from its lead-in and 100% from its year-ago time period average to a 1.4/5 on WNYW at 3 p.m.
Warner Bros.’ People’s Court lost 22% to a 1.8; Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis fell 21% to a 1.5; Twentieth’s Judge Alex was down 18% to a 1.4; Twentieth’s Divorce Court slipped 24% to a 1.3, but doubled its year-ago time period average in Los Angeles on KCOP; Twentieth’s Cristina’s Court declined 18% to a 0.9; and Sony’s Judge David Young slid 13% to a 0.7.
In access, CBS Television Distribution’s Entertainment Tonight — with a 4.2 average, dipping just 2% from last May — was the No. 1 mag for the 75th sweep in a row, winning every ratings period since July 1990. CBS Television Distribution’s Inside Edition was flat at a 3.0; Warner Bros.’ TMZ was down 5% to 2.1 average; NBCU’s Access Hollywood lost 5% to a 2.0; CBS Television Distribution’s The Insider dropped 19% to a 1.7, however, it had substantial increased in many metered cities, including a 400% gain in Greensboro, N.C. Warner Bros.’ Extra was down 11% to a 1./6.
All of the games posted double-digit losses, with CBS Television Distribution’s Wheel of Fortune skidding 10% to a 6.4 average. CBS Television Distribution’s Jeopardy! slid 10% to a 5.4; Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire dove 18% to a 2.3; and Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud faded 18% to a 1.4.
Among off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men fell 10% to a 4.6 sweep average; Twentieth’s Family Guy sank 12% to a 3.7; Sony’s Seinfeld tumbled 13% to a 3,3; CBS Television Distribution’s Everybody Loves Raymond lost 12% to a 2.9; and Warner Bros.’ George Lopez Show was down 13% to a 2.7.
The off-net weekly hours were led in the sweep by rookie CBS Television Distribution’s CSI: NY with a 3.3 average; NBCU’s Law & Order: SVU was down 9% to a 2.9; CBS Television Distribution’s CSI: Miami went into a free fall and plunged 48% to a 2.1; newcomer NBCU’s House came on the market with a 2.0; Warner Bros.’ Cold Case declined 14% to a 1.9; and Warner Bros.’ Without a Trace was down 18% to a 1.8.
The first-run action hour Disney-ABC’s Legend of the Seeker plummeted 52 from its two-hour premiere to a 1.4 average, while the off-TBS strip Debmar-Mercury’s House of Payne was up 5% from September debut to a 2.1.