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

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November 1st, 2011

Wheel of Fortune topped Judge Judy again was on top of the syndicated rankings for the week ending October 23, leading in both household rating and total viewers. Dr. Phil led all daytime talk shows in household ratings (though Maury led most of the key demographics, it didn't quite make the top 25 in household rating).

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 be 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 23, 2011:

Rank Program Dist Day HH Rating Viewers (000)
1 ESPN NFL REGULAR SEASON ESP M...... 8.1   12,563
2 WHEEL OF FORTUNE CTD MTWTF.. 7.0   10,854
3 JUDGE JUDY (AT) CTD MTWTF.. 6.7     9,123
4 TWO-HALF MEN-SYN (AT) WB MTWTF.. 6.0     9,147
5 JEOPARDY CTD MTWTF.. 5.9     8,937
6 BIG BANG-SYN (AT) WB MTWTF.. 5.1     7,901
7 BIG BANG WKND B (AT) WB ......S 4.3     6,644
8 ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT(AT) CTD MTWTF.. 3.9     5,589
9 BIG BANG WKND A (AT) WB ......S 3.9     5,926
10 Family Guy-WK-SYN (AT) 2/T ......S 3.8     5,270
11 Family Guy-MF-SYN (AT) 2/T MTWTF.. 3.8     5,774
12 HOW I MET-MTHR-MF-SYN(AT) 2/T MTWTF.. 3.2     4,755
13 INSIDE EDITION (AT) CTD MTWTF.. 3.2     4,534
14 HOW I MET-MTHR-WK-SYN(AT) 2/T ......S 3.2     4,679
15 LAW & ORDER-SYN (AT) NBU ......S 3.1     4,681
16 THAT 70S SHOW-WK-SYN (AT) 2/T ......S 3.1     5,048
17 Criminal Minds-SYN (AT) CTD ......S 2.8     4,022
18 FAMILY FEUD (AT) 2/T MTWTF.. 2.8     4,287
19 DR. PHIL SHOW (AT) CTD MTWTF.. 2.8     3,653
20 LAW & ORDER:CI-MF-SYN(AT) NBU MTWTF.. 2.7     3,596
21 JUDGE JOE BROWN (AT) CTD MTWTF.. 2.7     3,763
22 Futurama-SYN (AT) 2/T .....SS 2.7     3,840
23 DR. OZ SHOW (AT) SPT MTWTF.. 2.6     3,442
24 LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY DAD MTWTF.. 2.6     3,415
25 MILLIONAIRE (AT) DAD MTWTF.. 2.5     3,422

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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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