Strong Syndies Soar To New Heights

The week ending Nov. 18 saw a number of show setting new season highs, especially among the talkers and entertainment magazines.

Newcomers Katie (Disney-ABC) and Steve Harvey (NBCU) both surged to their highest ratings ever in the week ending Nov. 18, which was another very strong session for many syndicated talk and magazine shows. Dr. Phil (CTD), Ellen (WBDTD), Maury (NBCU), Jerry Springer (NBCU), Entertainment Tonight (CTD), Access Hollywood (NBCU), Extra (WBDTD) and The Insider (CTD) were among the strips scoring new season highs in the frame.

Talk Shows

Katie was on fire, jumping 17% from the week before to a best-ever 2.1. That marked the largest week-to-week increase of any talker. Not to be outdone, Harvey, which has been Katie’s main challenger since Day 1, also clocked it’s highest ratings yet, climbing 8% to a 1.4 in households and 11% to a 1.0 among women 25-54, one-tenth of a rating point behind Katie’s 1.1 in the important demo.

Among the other new talk show entries, Jeff Probst (CTD), Ricki Lake (Twentieth) and Trisha (NBCU) all held steady at 0.7, 0.7 and 0.5, respectively.

Talk leader Dr. Phil was an easy winner for the ninth week in a row, topping the category by a significant margin with a 3.3, its best rating of the season, and up 3% from the week before. Phil also continued to rule the talkers among women 25-54, growing 5% to a 2.0 in the key demo.

Vaulting into second place was the red-hot Ellen with a 4% improvement to a new-season best 2.7. Live with Kelly and Michael (Disney-ABC), which has also been very strong this fall, took a 7% breather down to a 2.6, but still kept pace with its season average.


Maury was sharp with a 4% increase to a new season high 2.5 and led the field in both women 18-49 and women 18-34 with 1.6 and 1.4 demo ratings, respectively.

Dr. Oz (Sony) was one of the few talk shows to lose ground, falling 4% to a fifth-place 2.4; Ray rose 7% to a 1.6, matching its season high; and Springer soared 14% to a new season high 1.6, tying Ray. Other gainers included The Wendy Williams Show (Debmar-Mercury), which jumped 10% to a 1.1, as did Anderson Live (WBDTD).

Latenight dating show Excused (CTD) gained 25% to a a 0.5, matching its season high.

Among shows not yet nationally rated, Access Hollywood Live (NBCU) averaged a 1.0 rating/4 share in 11 metered, which was up 11% from last year at this time. Let’s Ask America (WBDTD) grew 6% week to week to a 1.8/4 in its seven metered markets, including gains of 22% in Cleveland and 56% in Baltimore.

Court Shows

In court show action, Judge Judy (CTD) remained at its season high 7.4 national rating for a second straight week and was once again the highest ranked show in first-run syndication. Judge Joe Brown (CTD) dipped 4% to a 2.3; People’s Court (WBDTD) tacked on 5% to a 2.0; and Judge Mathis (WBDTD) added 6 to a new season high 1.7.

Magazine Shows

ET continued to set the pace among magazines, growing 5% from the week before to a 4.0, its highest rating of the season. Inside Edition (CTD) was flat at a 3.1; TMZ, which was the only magazine to score a new high in the prior session, gave back 5% to a 1.9; Access Hollywood chalked up a double-digit increase, leaping 13% to a new season high 1.8; The Insider also posted double-digit improvement, shooting up 14% to a new season high 1.6. In addition, Extra turned in its strongest ratings performance of the season, spiking 7% to a 1.6 to tie The Insider despite being preempted in several markets.

Freshman Dish Nation (Twentieth) trailed with a 0.9, up a tenth of a point, or 13%, from the week before

Game Shows

Among game shows, Wheel of Fortune (CTD) picked up 3% from the previous session to a new season high 7.2. Jeopardy (CTD) dropped 2% to a 6.3; Family Feud (Debmar-Mercury) rose 2% to a new series high 4.7; Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (Disney-ABC) declared a new season high 2.4, which was up 4% from the previous frame; while Baggage (GSN) was unchanged at a 1.1.

Off-Net Sitcoms

In off-net syndication Big Bang Theory (WBDTD) came up big again, advancing 3% week to week to a new season high 7.7. Two and a Half Men (WBDTD) sank 5% to a 5.2; Family Guy (Twentieth) gained 3% to a new season high 3.9; while How I Met Your Mother (Twentieth) lost 4% to a 2.5.

Off-Net Weekly Hours

Among off-net weekly hours, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (NBCU) inched up 3% to a first-place 3.5. Sister show Law & Order (NBCU) perked up 7% to new season high 3.0; House (NBCU) tumbled 11% to a 2.4; CSI: Miami (CTD) and Criminal Minds (CTD) each cooled off 12% to a 2.3, tying Castle (Disney-ABC), which grew 10% to a 2.3.

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