The doctor’s lie detector show helps pull him closer to ratings leader Oprah during the week ending Nov. 12, the first week of the sweeps.
No lie. The Dr. Phil Show was a big ratings winner for the week ending Nov. 12, the full week of the November sweeps, thanks at least in part to his using a lie detector in family therapy.
Dr. Phil scored its highest ratings since May 2005 and narrowed the ratings gap with syndication’s talk-show leader, Oprah.
Dr. Phil was up 11% for the week to a 5.9 in households and was the only talk show to post a year-over-year gain (7%).
The show was strong across the female demos—women 18-34, up 27% to 2.8; women 18-49, up 14% to 3.3, and women 25-54, up 11% to 3.9.
Accounting for many of the gains was Monday’s show, in which Dr. Phil used a lie detector to settle trouble in a dysfunctional family. That show scored a 6.6 in households.
If Oprah looks over her shoulder, she just might see Dr. Phil closing in. With her household rating sinking 6% to 7.2 for the week, the gap between her and Dr. Phil was just 1.3 ratings points, the closest it has been this season.
Two other talk shows hit season highs during the week: The Jerry Springer Show and Maury.
Perhaps helped along by the notoriety he gained as a contestant on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars in October, Springer grew 13% for the week to 1.8—a new season high. Ratings for the trailing month were up 29%.
Maury was up 4% to 2.5 in households, giving it a lock on fourth place.
The other story in talk was Rachel Ray. The show was up 5% to 2.1 for the week, which tied her with veteran The Ellen DeGeneres Show (unchanged for the week). She also outrated the next two new talk shows combined, Dr. Keith Ablow (up 10% to 1.1) and The Greg Behrendt Show (up13% to 0.9).
The Megan Mullally Show was unchanged from the prior week, posting a 0.8.
News that Britney Spears filed for divorce from Kevin Federline competed for America’s attention on Election Day and helped draw audiences for the celebrity obsessed magazine shows.
Leader Entertainment Tonight was the greatest beneficiary of Britney’s troubles. It posted a 5.6 rating, up 4% from the week prior and the highest in eight months. It was also the only magazine up from last year (2%).
The magazine runners-up: Inside Edition (up 6% to 3.6); Insider (up 4% to 2.7); Access Hollywood (unchanged at 2.6) and Extra (up 10% to 2.3).
Among game shows, Jeopardy! posted a season high 7.0 ratings in households, up 1% for the week and 6% from last year.
Number-one Wheel of Fortune was unchanged from the previous week at 8.8, but up 1% from last year.
Who Wants To Be a Millionaire was unchanged for the week at 3.4 in households, but it was up 10% from last year—the biggest year-over-year improvement among all syndicated strip shows.
Court show leader Judge Judy was steady week-to-week and year-over-year, finishing with a 4.8. But rival Judge Joe Brown was up 7% for the week to a new season high of 3.0.
The only court show to post a year-over-year gain was Judge Mathis. It was up 4% for the year and the week to 2.5.
Cristina’s Court and Judge Maria Lopez held steady for the week, posting a 1.3 and a 0.9, respectively.