All the shows in the genre posted improvements over the sweeps a year ago. Others doing well for the month include some talk shows, the top four court shows and newcomers Anderson and Big Bang Theory.
The results of the key February sweep period (Feb. 2-29) are in and magazines were the only category in which every show outperformed their year-ago scores.
Top-tier daytime strips and a few game shows also sparkled, while newcomers Anderson (WBDTD) and the off-net Big Bang Theory (WBDTD) flashed sharp growth over their debuts.
The magazines had their best month of the season with extensive coverage of the Oscars, the Whitney Houston story and the Grammy Awards.
Entertainment Tonight (CTD) marked its 86th consecutive sweep as the highest rated magazine in syndication with a 4.2 average, up 2% from last February.
Inside Edition (CTD) edged ahead 3% to a 3.3; Access Hollywood (NBCU) had the biggest year-over-year increase, surging 10% to a 2.2; TMZ (WBDTD) tacked on 5% to a 2.2; The Insider (CTD) grew 6% from last year to a 1.9; and Extra (WBDTD) improved 6% to a 1.8, despite numerous preemptions during the sweep.
Dr. Phil (CTD) easily won the race to succeed Oprah, taking over as the No. 1 talk show in the sweep from Live with Regis and Kelly, which had vaulted to the top spot in the November 2011 sweep. Of course, November was the final month of Regis Philbin’s long run.
Phil scored a 3.4, which was up 10% from last year, while Live with Kelly (Disney-ABC) dropped to third place with an unchanged 2.8. Dr. Oz (Sony) finished second, climbing 25% to a 3.0.
Rounding out the top five, Ellen DeGeneres (WBDTD) and Maury (NBCU) tied for fourth place with each show posting a 2.6 and gaining 8% and 24%, respectively.
Access Hollywood Live (NBCU), a slow rollout, rose 11% in households from last February to a 1.0 rating/4 share in its 17 metered markets. In addition, the show soared 20% among women 18-49 and 33% among women 25-54.
Among the nationally rated rookies in first run, Anderson spiked 36% from its September debut to a 1.5, and more than doubled the rating of its closest rookie rival Jeremy Kyle (Debmar-Mercury). Kyle climbed 40% from its premiere week to a 0.7, and newcomer We the People with Gloria Allred (Entertainment Studios) added 25% to a 0.5.
New dating show Excused (CTD) increased 17% from its debut to a 0.7 in mostly late fringe time periods.
The top four court shows, led by Judge Judy (CTD), were up sharply from last February. Judy had the highest rating of any show in daytime and tied Wheel of Fortune (CTD) as the highest rated show overall in syndication for the sweep, growing 63% from last year to a 7.5.
Judge Joe Brown (CTD) advanced 50% year to year to a 3.0; People’s Court (WBDTD) picked up 21% to a 2.3; Judge Alex (Twentieth) moved ahead 46% to a 1.9; while Judge Mathis (WBDTD) was flat at a 1.7.
Wheel of Fortune continued to rule the games with a 7.5, but that was down 4% from last February. Jeopardy (CTD) also declined, losing 6% from last year to a 6.3. On the othe hand, Family Feud (Debmar-Mercury) ballooned 88% to a 3.2; and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Disney-ABC) saw its ratings inflate 17% to a 2.7.
In off-net Big Bang Theory blew away the sitcoms with a 7.4, which was up 64% from its September debut. Two and a Half Men (WBDTD) was next with a 6.3, a 5% improvement from last year at this time. Family Guy (Twentieth) was up 13% year to year to a 4.5; How I Met Your Mother (Twentieth) mushroomed 28% to a 3.2; while the long-running Seinfeld (Sony) gained 4% to a 2.7.
Among the rookie sitcoms, 30 Rock (NBCU) clocked a 1.4 in mostly latenight spots, which was in line with its September premiere. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Twentieth) was also on par with its 1.2 opening mark; and Till Death (Sony) was unchanged from its debut at a 0.6.
Off-Net Weekly Hours
Criminal Minds (CTD) continued to lead the off-net weekly hours, growing 10% year over year to a 3.4; Law & Order (NBCU) was next with a 2.7; followed by Monk (NBCU), which was up 18% to a 2.6 and Without a Trace (WBDTD), which grew 24% from last year to a2.6. Taking fifth place was Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBCU), which strengthened 60% from one year ago to a 2.4.