In November, many shows were either up slightly from last November or logged only minor losses after seeing significant declines for several years.
Green shoots of a turnaround from the recent dismal ratings trend in syndication were apparent in the national results of the November sweep that came out today.
Many shows were either up slightly from last November or logged only minor losses after seeing significant declines for several years.
The Doctors (CTD) had the strongest ratings growth medicine for the Oct. 29-Nov. 25 ratings period of any syndicated strip of any type, with an 18% increase over last year to a 2.0 average.
Other talk shows moving up from last November included Maury (NBCU), which advanced 5% to a 2.0, and Steve Wilkos Show (NBCU) and Jerry Springer (NBCU), which were both up 9% to 1.2.
Oprah (CTD), which grabbed huge Nielsens for several shows, including one with a woman whose face had been eaten by a 200-pound chimpanzee and another with Sarah Palin, was down 4% to a 5.4.
Dr. Phil (CTD) was the second-highest-rated talker with a 3.1 sweep average. Although that was still off 14% from November 2008, Phil did grow in many key markets, including New York where it was up 4% from last November. And nationally, the show finished with a new-season high 3.2 in the final week of the sweep.
Live with Regis and Kelly (Disney-ABC) lost 4% to a 2.7; Ellen DeGeneres (WBDTD) was even with last year at a 2.4; Rachael Ray (CTD) dipped 5% to a 1.8; Bonnie Hunt (WBDTD) fell 11% to a 0.8 and a decision was made to cancel the show at the end of this season; Martha (NBCU) slipped 14% from last year to a 0.6, but ended the sweep at its highest ratings of the season, with a 0.7 in the Thanksgiving week ending Nov. 29.
Judge Judy (CTD) was the only court show up over last year, improving 2% to a 4.6 average and more than doubling the ratings of its nearest rival. However, most other gavelers got hit with only modest declines.
Judge Joe Brown (CTD) took second, although it was down 9% to a 2.1; People’s Court (WBDTD) dropped 5% to 2.0; Judge Mathis (WBDTD) fell 11% to a 1.6; Judge Alex (Twentieth) was fined 6% to a 1.5; Divorce Court (Twentieth) settled for a 7% loss, down to a 1.4 in sixth place; and Judge Jeanine Piero (WBDTD), which was not in syndication last year, was last with a 1.0 average.
The rookie leader in the sweep was off-net sitcom The Office (NBCU), which was the talk of the watercooler crowd with a 3.0 sweep average and a a sparkling 2.7 in women 18-34, syndication’s second-highest rating in the demo. Only the animated Family Guy (Twentieth) was higher, with a 2.9. Everybody Hates Chris (CTD) and My Name is Earl (Twentieth) both clocked a 1.9 household rating,
Dr. Oz (Sony) continued to have his way with the first-run crowd, averaging a 2.6, followed by Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (Twentieth) at a 1.7; Wendy Williams (Debmar-Mercury) at a 1.2; and Street Court (Litton), which trailed with a 0.6.
Ratings for game shows were somewhat choppy. Wheel of Fortune (CTD) rolled over the field, although its ratings were down 3% to a 7.3; Jeopardy! (CTD) was up 2% to a 6.1; Who Wants to be a Millionaire (Disney-ABC) gained 4% to a 2.6; Family Feud (Debmar-Mercury) sank 13% to a 1.3; and Deal or No Deal (NBCU) deteriorated 33% to a 1.2.
Entertainment Tonight (CTD) had no trouble scoring its 77th straight sweep win in the magazine race, growing 2% to a 4.6, which was at least 44% higher than any competitor.
Inside Edition (CTD) gained 7% to a 3.2; Access Hollywood (NBCU) had the only double-digit increase in the category, adding 11% to a 2.1; while TMZ (WBDTD) suffered the only double-digit decline, dropping 10% to a 1.9.
Right behind, The Insider (CTD) and Extra (WBDTD) both earned a 1.8 average, with Insider slipping 5% and Extra climbing 6%.
Off-net sitcoms continued to erode, although leader Two and a Half Men (WBDTD) fell a relatively modest 2% to a 5.1. Family Guy (Twentieth) was down 17% to a 3.5; Seinfeld (Sony) skidded 25% to a 2.7; Everybody Loves Raymond (CTD) decreased 19% to a 2.6; and George Lopez Show (WBDTD) declined 10% to a 2.6.
Off-Net Weekly Hours
Off-net weekly hours were also fairly soft. CSI: NY (CTD) tumbled 11% to a 3.3; Law & Order: Criminal Intent (NBCU), which was a strip last November, collared a second-place 3.1; Bones (Twentieth) bagged a 2.4 in its first November sweep; and House (NBCU) was marked down by 19% to a 2.2, tying CSI: Miami (CTD), which shed 8% to a 2.2.
Elsewhere, the first-run action hour Legend of the Seeker (Disney-ABC) lost 38% to a 1.5.