We constantly see attempts to correlate Oprah's endorsement of (at the time, future president) Barack Obama to lower ratings for Oprah, though in any of our analysis, we couldn't actually make a correlation. But whether you think there is any correlation or not, it's pretty much irrelevant to Oprah, who remains queen of the syndicated ratings.
For the delayed February sweeps period that this year ran from March 5 - April 1 for syndication, Oprah came out on top of all syndie talk shows and increased ratings by 10% over last March while Dr. Phil was down 17% from last year! Where are all the stories alleging Phil was hurt by not making an endorsement!? Where are the stories saying Wheel of Fortune's ratings are down 8% versus a year ago because Pat Sajak...
Those stories are absolutely nowhere, that's where. And that's absolutely where they should be, because those stories would be as bogus as the stories and insinuations the political wonks want to make about Oprah.
Anyway... here are some syndicated sweeps numbers via a Broadcasting & Cable story based on Nielsen data:
The Doctors was up a huge 46% from its premiere to a 1.9 average over the four week period to lead the newcomers. Deal Or No Deal was second with a 1.7 average, up 6% from its debut. Warner Bros.' Bonnie Hunt moved into third place on the freshman list with a 1.0, leaping 25% from its premiere. Sony's Judge Karen was fourth with a 0.9, down 18% from where it started. Debmar-Mercury's Trivial Pursuit averaged a 0.6, unchanged. Program Partners' Family Court tallied a 0.5, 17% below its debut number.
As for the veterans, CBS Television Distribution's Oprah was once again the top talk show with a 5.4 average, increasing 10% from last March. CTD's Dr. Phil was second at 3.5, though that was down 17% from last year, it represented a sharp improvement from Phil's November sweep performance which was down 29% from November 2007. Disney/ABC's Live With Regis and Kelly slipped 4% from last year to a 2.6 average. Warner Bros.' Ellen Degeneres was up 10% to a 2.3. CTD's Rachael Ray and NBCU's Maury each dipped 5% to a 1.8. Warner Bros.' Tyra Banks held steady with last March at 1.1, tied with NBCU's Jerry Springer, which was down 8%, and Steve Wilkos (NBCU), who grew 22%. Twentieth's The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet dropped 10% to 0.9. NBCU's Martha Stewart fell 30% to 0.7.