Lots Of Bah, Humbug In Year-End Ratings

Some of the few first-run syndicated shows to post ratings gains in the week ending Dec. 30 are Live with Kelly and Michael, Rachael Ray, Steve Wilkos, Jeff Probst, The Doctors and People’s Court.

Live with Kelly and Michael (Disney-ABC) celebrated Christmas week by scoring new season high ratings and topping the talkers for a second straight session, despite airing mostly repackaged shows.

Most other strips lost ground in the holiday week ending Dec. 30, although talkers Rachael Ray (CTD), Steve Wilkos (NBCU), The Doctors (CTD) and Jeff Probst (CTD) managed to buck the downtrend and equaled or exceeded their highest ratings of the season.

Talk Shows

Live clocked a new season record record 2.9, rising 4% week to week and finishing first in talk in the key women 25-54 demo. Maury (NBCU) held steady at a 2.4, landing in second place in households, but leading the pack among in both women 18-49 and women 18-34.

Dr. Phil (CTD), which was the only talker in the top 10 to not exclude the typically low-rated Christmas Day telecast from its weekly average and was in reruns all week, dipped 12% to a new season low 2.3.

Dr. Oz (Sony) fell 4% to a 2.2, matching its season low; Ellen (WBDTD) gave back 22% with repeats to a new season low 2.1; Rachael Ray (CTD), which was almost entirely in reruns, still grew 6% from the prior week and 31% in the past month, to a new season high 1.7.


And Wilkos landed in uncharted territory, advancing 7% to a 1.6, which was the all-time highest rating in the six-year history of the series. Wilkos was also the No. 2 talker after Maury in the women 18-34 demo.

Among the newcomers to talk, Probst was the only gainer, improving 14% to a 0.8 and matching its season high. Katie (Disney-ABC), the No. 1 new show, was in all repeats but maintained its big lead on the field with a steady 1.8.

Steve Harvey (NBCU) eased 7% to a 1.3 with mostly encore telecasts; Ricki Lake (Twentieth) was flat at a 0.7; while Trisha (NBCU) held firm at a 0.5.

Court Shows

Courtroom champion Judge Judy (CTD) was off 13% to a new season low 5.8 with an all-rerun week. Judge Joe Brown (CTD) was unchanged at a 2.3; People’s Court (WBDTD) added 6% to a 1.9; while Judge Mathis (WBDTD) was flat at a 1.6.

Magazine Shows

None of the magazines was up from the week before in the holiday session and steep losses were the norm. Leader Entertainment Tonight (CTD) receded 14% from the previous session to a 3.1; Inside Edition (CTD) tumbled 19% to a new season low 2.6; TMZ (WBDTD) backed off 15% from its season high to a 1.7; Access Hollywood (NBCU) relinquished 18% to a new season low 1.4.

The Insider (CTD) was the only mag not to lose ground, holding steady at a 1.4. Extra (WBDTD), which had more than two dozen preemptions during the week, eased 13% to new season low 1.3, although its Extra Weekend improved 13%. Freshman Dish Nation (Twentieth) was last, dropping 20% to a 0.8.

Game Shows

Ratings for the game shows were mostly weak. Wheel of Fortune (CTD) skidded 8% from the previous week to a 6.7; Jeopardy (CTD) also eroded 8% to a 5.9; while Family Feud (Debmar-Mercury) faded 2% to a 4.6. On the other hand, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Disney-ABC) saw its fortunes improve with a 9% rise to a new season high 2.5, while rookie Baggage (GSN) was unchanged at a 1.1.

Off-Net Sitcoms

Among off-net sitcoms, Big Bang Theory (WBDTD) got burned with an 8% loss from the week before to a 6.8, which still topped all syndicated shows. Two and a Half Men (WBDTD) declined 9% to a 5.0; Family Guy (Twentieth) lost 10% to a 3.6; while How I Met Your Mother (Twentieth) moved up 7% to a new season high 3.1.

Off-Net Weekly Hours

Off-net weekly hours were all over the map. House (NBCU) was on fire, surging 39% from the previous from to a new season high 3.2. Law & Order (NBCU) fell 3% to a 3.0; sister show Law & Order: SVU (NBCU) plunged 32% to a 2.6, while Criminal Minds (CTD) dropped 4% to a 2.5.

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