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Syndicated TV Ratings: 'Wheel Of Fortune' Stays On Top; 'Dr. Phil' & 'Dr. Oz' Top Talk Shows

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October 25th, 2011

Wheel of Fortune kept Judge Judy at bay and again was on top of the syndicated rankings for the week ending October 16, leading in both household rating and total viewers. Dr. Oz and Dr. Phil tied at the top HH ratings for syndicated talk shows, although Dr. Oz edged Dr. Phil in viewership.

We've entered the wacky time of year when Nielsen counts the local broadcast of the Monday Night Football games as syndicated shows and while it is syndicated to the local markets of the teams playing, Nielsen also includes the numbers from ESPN so MNF will always put them at the top of the list, pay no attention to them.

Please see notes below about changes to Nielsen syndicated show ratings measurement. The short version is that the change benefits shows with more than one daily telecast (Two and a Half Men, Judge Judy) and is a disadvantage (relative to the old measurement) for shows that only have one telecast per day (Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy).

Top 25 Syndicated Shows for the week ending October 16, 2011:

Rank Program Dist. Days HH Rating Viewers (000)
1 ESPN NFL REGULAR SEASON ESP M...... 11.0 17,635
2 WHEEL OF FORTUNE CTD MTWTF.. 6.7 10,312
3 JUDGE JUDY CTD .T..F.. 6.5 8,876
4 TWO-HALF MEN-SYN WB MTWTF.. 5.6 8,468
5 JEOPARDY CTD MTWTF.. 5.6 8,591
6 BIG BANG WKND B WB ......S 4.3 6,579
7 BIG BANG-SYN WB MTWTF.. 3.9 5,990
8 Family Guy-WK-SYN 2/T ......S 3.9 5,535
9 BIG BANG WKND A WB ......S 3.9 6,061
10 ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT CTD MTWTF.. 3.8 5,336
11 Family Guy-MF-SYN 2/T MTWTF.. 3.5 5,222
12 HOW I MET-MTHR-MF-SYN 2/T MTWTF.. 3.1 4,554
13 LAW & ORDER-SYN NBU ......S 3.1 4,200
14 Criminal Minds-SYN CTD ......S 3.1 4,206
15 INSIDE EDITION CTD MTWTF.. 3.0 4,195
16 HOW I MET-MTHR-WK-SYN 2/T ......S 3.0 4,394
17 DR. PHIL SHOW CTD MTWTF.. 2.8 3,636
18 DR. OZ SHOW SPT .T..F.. 2.8 3,805
19 Futurama-SYN 2/T .....SS 2.8 3,869
20 LAW & ORDER:CI-MF-SYN NBU MTWTF.. 2.7 3,534
21 FAMILY FEUD 2/T MTWTF.. 2.6 3,773
22 LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY DAD MTWTF.. 2.5 3,356
23 MILLIONAIRE DAD MTWTF.. 2.5 3,333
24 THAT 70S SHOW-WK-SYN 2/T ......S 2.5 3,531
25 JUDGE JOE BROWN CTD .TWTF.. 2.4 3,173

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Why Aren't The Simpsons on This List?!

While The Simpsons repeats are available nationally its ratings are not counted in the weekly syndicated ratings because The Simpsons does not sell any national advertising in syndication.

Please note that the syndicated weekly results are delayed versus normal reporting.  While we get the broadcast and cable ratings for the prior Monday-Sunday period every Tuesday, there is an extra week of lag time with the syndicated ratings and these numbers are not for last week, but for the week before last.

More  disclaiming about recent measurement changes...

Note from Nielsen:

Previously for syndicated shows, we reported the AA (average audience) viewing averages rather than  the GAA (Gross Average Audience) viewing averages, but when Nielsen recently changed the standard reporting average audience metrics to include duplicate DVR viewing before 3am, they changed the syndicated averages as well.

Previously if someone in a Nielsen household watched Judge Judy the first time it aired and then watched the second syndicated episode, both times counted in the GAA numbers, but only one viewing counted in the average audience measure we reported. Now both viewings would count in the average audience number.

As a result, shows which previously had noticeably better GAA numbers than AA numbers are getting a boost.  That's a relative advantage for shows that have multiple airings in syndication like Two and a Half Men and Judge Judy and a relative ranking disadvantage, relative to the old measurement methodology, for shows like Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy that only have one daily airing.

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For syndicated shows which air on multiple days, the viewership shown is the average of all telecasts.

BUENA VISTA items are syndicated packages of old Disney movies.

DAD = Disney ABC Domestic Television, SPT= Sony Pictures Television, 2/T=Twentieth Television, ESP = ESPN, CTD = CBS Television Distribution.

AT = Additional Time/Telecasts, more than the typical number of episodes or time periods/week

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2011 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

 
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