Good Showings From Syndie Talkers, Mags

Most of the chat fests and entertainment magazines post gains in the week ending Dec. 16, with several topping or tying their season highs.

As winter approached in the session ending Dec. 16, syndicated talk and magazine shows were hot, despite massive preemptions for news coverage of the Dec. 14 Newtown, Conn., school massacre. In fact, many strips fielded only four-day averages for the week.

Talk Shows

Dr. Phil (CTD) topped the talkers for the 13th week in a row, growing 3% both week to week and year to year to a 3.1. The surging Ellen (WBDTD) equaled its highest rating in its 10-year history, advancing 4% to a new season high 2.9. Ellen also had the largest year-to-year increase of any talk show, improving 12% from the same week last year.

Live with Kelly and Michael (Disney-ABC) also continued to come up big, as it has all season, gaining 4% to a strong 2.6; Dr. Oz (Sony) was flat at a fourth-place 2.4 and Maury (NBCU) remained at a 2.2.

Rachael Ray (CTD) held firm at a 1.4, tying Steve Wilkos Show (NBCU) and Jerry Springer (NBCU), which were both up 8% to 1.4; The Doctors (CTD) climbed 8% to a 1.3; and Anderson Live (WBDTD) had the biggest week-to-week increase of any top-10 veteran talker, leaping 20% to a new season high 1.2.

Wendy Williams (Debmar-Mercury) was unchanged at a 1.1, while Jeremy Kyle (Debmar-Mercury) added a tenth of a point, or 20%, to a 0.6 and was given its cancellation notice.


Among the newest talk show entries, Katie (Disney-ABC) continued to be the highest rated by a significant margin, holding firm at a 1.8. Steve Harvey (NBCU) jumped 8% to a 1.4, despite being partially in repeats; Jeff Probst (CTD) remained on par with the prior week’s 0.7; Ricki Lake (Twentieth) sank to a new season low 0.6, declining 14%; while Trisha (NBCU) was right behind, increasing 25% to a 0.5.

Magazine Shows

The magazine shows were sharp with leader Entertainment Tonight (CTD) showing the way. ET scored a 3.9, up 3% week to week and 5% year to year. Inside Edition (CTD) added 6% to a 3.3; Access Hollywood (NBCU) tied its season high with a 6% spike to a 1.9; TMZ (WBDTD) was also 6% higher at a 1.9, tying Access; Extra (WBDTD), at a 1.6, matched its highest rating of the season, clocking a 7% increase, which was the greatest percentage gain of any established magazine. The Insider (CTD) held steady at a 1.5; while rookie Dish Nation (Twentieth) gained 11% to a 1.0.

Court Shows

Judge Judy (CTD) dominated the court shows and everything else in daytime with a hefty 7.0 rating, up 4% from the week before. Judge Joe Brown (CTD) dipped 4% to a second-place 2.3; while People’s Court (WBDTD) and Judge Mathis (WBDTD) were flat at 1.8 and 1.5, respectively.

Game Shows

Among game shows, Wheel of Fortune (CTD) rolled to a 7.4, up 3% from the previous frame. Jeopardy (CTD) inched up 2% to a 6.6; Family Feud (Debmar-Mercury) was flat at a 4.6; Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Disney-ABC) lost 4% to a 2.3; while rookie Baggage (GSN) claimed a 9% improvement to a 1.2.

Off-Net Sitcoms

Among off-net sitcoms, Big Bang Theory (WBDTD) was unchanged at a 7.3; Two and a Half Men (WBDTD) picked up 4% to a 5.4; Family Guy (Twentieth) grew 3% to a 3.8; and How I Met Your Mother (Twentieth) was unchanged at a 2.8,

Off-Net Weekly Hours

On the weekend, Law & Order: SVU (NBCU) continued to be the No. 1 off-net hour, although it was down 2% to a 4.4. Sister show Law & Order (NBCU) shot up 10% to a new season high 3.3; House (NBCU) came up with a 14% addition to a 2.4; and tied CSI: Miami (CTD), which cooled off 8% to a 2.4.

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