Baseball Playoffs, Debate Lead To Slow Week

Among the bright spots in the week ending Oct. 21 were Dr. Phil, Steve Wilkos, Entertainment Tonight and Inside Edition.

The week ending Oct. 21 was a quiet one for most of syndication as PUT levels declined and shows prepared fot the important sweep period that began Oct. 25. But there were a couple of bright spots.

Talk Shows

Dr. Phil (CTD) was the only talk show to improve from the week before, growing 4% to a 2.9 and finishing as the No. 1 talker for the sixth week in a row. Phil was also one of just two talk shows to outperform its ratings of last year at this time, growing 4% year to year.

Steve Wilkos Show (NBCU) was the only other talker up from the same week last year, strengthening 8% to a 1.3. Live with Kelly and Michael (Disney-ABC) was a strong second with a steady 2.6, which was even with last year. Ellen (WBDTD) eased 8% to a 2.2. Dr. Oz (Sony) also forfeited 8% to a 2.2, remaining in a tie with Ellen.

Maury (NBCU) dipped 5% to a 2.1, but continues to lead with a 1.4 among women 18-49.

The new talk show entries all held steady week to week. Leader Katie (Disney-ABC) clocked another 1.9, matching its best week since its debut; Steve Harvey (NBCU) remained Katie’s main challenger at a 1.3; while Jeff Probst (CTD), The Ricki Lake Show (Twentieth) and Trisha (NBCU) were on the chart at 0.7, 0.7 and 0.5, respectively.


Magazine Shows

Most magazines ran into massive preemptions due to the American and National League Championships during the week and the second presidential debate on Oct. 16. For example, Extra (WBDTD), which was off 7% from the previous week to a 1.4, did not air 20 times during the week in the top 40 markets alone.

Leader Entertainment Tonight (CTD) and second-place Inside Edition (CTD) were the only two in the category to emerge with gains. ET topped the field for the 848th consecutive week with a 3.8, up 3% from the week before, while Inside Edition added 3% to a 3.0.

TMZ (WBDTD) gave back 16% to a 1.6, following a strong showing in the prior session; Access Hollywood (NBCU) was down 6% to a 1.5; The Insider (CTD) was unchanged at a 1.5; and rookie Dish Nation (Twentieth) was last with an unchanged 0.9.

Game Shows

Wheel of Fortune (CTD) ruled the game shows, but was flat week to week at a 6.5 and down 7% year to year. Jeopardy (CTD) declined 2% to a 5.7; Family Feud (Debmar-Mercury) was steady at a 4.2; while Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Disney-ABC) and newcomer Baggage (GSN) both increased 10% to a 2.3 and 1.1, respectively.

Court Shows

Judge Judy (CTD) was the highest rated courtroom for the 840th straight week 6.2, which was down 7% from the previous frame. Judge Joe Brown (CTD) fell 4% to a 2.3; People’s Court (WBDTD) faded 5% to a 1.9; and Judge Mathis (WBDTD) was flat at a 1.6.

Off-Net Sitcoms

Among the off-net sitcoms, Big Bang Theory (WBDTD) recovered 2% to a 5.7 following a steep drop the week before. Two and a Half Men (WBDTD) was unchanged at a 4.7; Family Guy (Twentieth) added 13% to a 3.6, while How I Met Your Mother (Twentieth) was stable at a 2.6.

Off-Net Weekly Hours

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBCU) topped the off-net weekly hours with a 3.9, which was up 117% from the week before. Sister show Law & Order (NBCU) lost 3% to a 2.8; CSI: Miami (CTD) weakened 4% to a 2.5; while CSI: Miami (CTD) was unchanged at a 2.4 and House (NBCU) tumbled 12% to a 2.3.

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