Strong Sweep For Veteran Syndie Leaders

Among the shows taking the top spots in their genres are Oprah, Judge Judy, Wheel of Fortune, ET and Two and a Half Men. Strong newcomers include Swift Justice, How I Met Your Mother and Criminal Minds.

The November sweep results (Oct. 28-Nov. 24), were depressed by the final days of the Fox-Cablevision retransmission consent dispute in New York, preemptions for coverage of politics and elections and continuing audience fragmentation.

Nevertheless, Oprah and Dr. Phil solidified their standing as syndication’s top two talkers, and heavyweight veterans such as Judge Judy, Entertainment Tonight and Wheel of Fortune topped their genres by wide margins.

Talk Shows

In the final November sweep of its long syndication run, Oprah (CTD) grew 4% from last year to a first-place 5.6 and Dr. Phil (CTD) took second for the 25th consecutive sweep, widening its margin over third-place Live.

Although Phil dipped 3% to a 3.0, the show was still up 22% among women 25-54 and 29% among women18-49 over last November in the metered markets.

In New York, which was the only top-10 market where Phil went head to head against fellow Oprah spinoffs Dr. Oz (Sony) and Nate Berkus (Sony), Phil had the No. 1 program at 3 p.m. and beat Oz by 47% and Berkus by 178%.


In addition, Phil finished the sweep with a bang, hitting a new season high 3.1 national rating for the week ending Nov. 28.

Live with Regis and Kelly (Disney-ABC) was down 7% to a 2.5; Oz fell 8% to a 2.4; and Ellen DeGeneres (WBDTD) lost 4% to a 2.3, rounding out the top five.

Magazine Shows

Entertainment Tonight (CTD) won the magazine race for the 81st sweep in a row, dating back more than 20 years despite slipping 9% from November 2009 to a 4.2, and held a margin of 45% over its closest rival Inside Edition (CTD). Edition dropped 9% to a 2.9. In third place, Access Hollywood (NBCU) declined 10% to a 1.9, although daytime spinoff Access Hollywood Live jumped 25% to a 1.0 rating/3 share in 13 metered markets versus its year-ago time period average. Access Hollywood Live also took its time period up 100% among women18-34.

The Insider (CTD) was the only magazine strip not to decline from last year in the national ratings, holding firm at a 1.8, while its Insider Weekend increased 18% year to year to a 1.3.

TMZ (WBDTD) fell 5% to a 1.8; Extra (WBDTD) eased 6% to a 1.7, but companion Extra Weekend improved 30% to a 1.3.

Game Shows

Game shows were all down from last November, except for Family Feud (Debmar-Mercury), which surged 23% to a fourth-place 1.6. At the top of the category, Wheel of Fortune (CTD) softened 1% from last November to a 7.2, but rolled over second-place Jeopardy (CTD) by 24%. Jeopardy weakened 5% to a 5.8; Who Wants to be a Millionaire (Disney-ABC) devalued 15% to a 2.2; and the report card for on last place Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (Twentieth) was fla a 1.0.

Court Shows

Judge Judy (CTD), which has topped the court shows in every sweep since 1996, ruled the genre with a 120% ratings advantage over its nearest legal rival off, although it was off 4% from last November to a 4.4. Second-place Judge Joe Brown (CTD) yielded 5% to 2.0; People’s Court (WBDTD) also relinquished 5% to a 1.9; Judge Mathis (WBDTD) was flat at a 1.6; Judge Alex (Twentieth) sank 13% to a 1.3, tying Divorce Court (Twentieth), which faded 7% to a 1.3; and Judge Jeanine Piero (WBDTD) trailed after eroding 10% to a 0.9.

First-Run Freshmen

Swift Justice with Nancy Grace (CTD) was the top newcomer to first-run syndication by a margin of 50%, with 1,830,000 viewers and a 1.3 rating. Nate Berkus was a distant second with a1.0 and 1,216,000 viewers. Don’t Forget the Lyrics (Twentieth), at a 0.9; Judge Karen’s Court (Litton), at a 0.6; and America’s Court with Judge Ross (Entertainment Studios), at a 0.4, followed.

Off-Net Freshmen

The top off-net and off-cable rookie strips were led by How I Met Your Mother (Twentieth) at a 2.32. Next in line were Meet the Browns (Debmar-Mercury) at a 1.4; The New Adventures of Old Christine (WBDTD) at a 1.3; and Ugly Betty (Disney-ABC) at a 0.9.

Off-Net Sitcoms

Among the established off-net sitcoms, Two and a Half Men (WBDTD) led with a 5.7, up 12% from last year after getting multiple runs on FX cable. Family Guy (Twentieth) was down 9% to a 3.2; Everybody Loves Raymond (CTD) gained 8% to a 2.8; My Wife and Kids (Disney-ABC) jumped 170% to a 2.7 after getting a cable run on Nick at Nite; while Seinfeld (Sony) slipped 7% to a 2.5

Off-Net Weekly Hours

Criminal Minds (CTD) led the weekly off-net and off-cable hours with a 3.0, followed by Law & Order: Criminal Intent (NBCU), which sank 23% to 2.4. Monk and Trace tied for third place with 2.3s— Monk (NBCU) soared 44% from last year, while Without a Trace (WBDTD) leaped 28%. Newcomer Numbers (CTD) rounded out the top five with a 2.2.

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