Syndicated Shows Enjoy Uptick

Family GuyNo “Oprah Winfrey” for syndication this year. So what’s left for other shows? Plenty.

For the first three weeks of the season, five of the top 10 Monday through Friday syndication shows gained overall viewership – somewhat of a rarity given the historical nature of broadcast ratings erosion.

CBS Television Distribution’s long-running “Wheel of Fortune," the reigning  No. 1 Monday through Friday syndication entertainment show, is up 1% to a Nielsen 9.9 million from Sept. 12 through October 2. Twentieth Television’s “Family Guy," in sixth place, gained 18% to an average 6.1 million viewers from 5.0 million.

New off-CBS comedy “The Big Bang Theory” debuted to a strong fifth-place start at 7.2 million viewers. A year ago at this time, CBS' bigger sitcom, “Two and A Half Men,” held the No. 1 spot at 11.0 million viewers -– now dipping to 12% to 9.7 million for second place.

Another CBS sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” also moved up -– 30% to 4.9 million viewers from the first three weeks a year ago. It sits in eighth place among all Monday through Friday shows.

Three big afternoon talk shows “Dr. Phil” (9th place), “Dr. Oz” (12th place) and “Ellen” also gained. “Phil” is up 30% to 4.3 million; “Oz” has gained 22% to 3.9 million; and “Ellen” grew 11% to 3.0 million.

CBS’ magazine show “Inside Edition” (10th place) is up 4% to 4.3 million.

Those that have lost ground: CBS’ “Judge Judy” in third place is off 6% to 9.0 million; CBS’ “Jeopardy” (fourth place) down 3% to 7.8 million; “Entertainment Tonight”, (seventh place) down 4% to 5.2 million.

Bill Carroll, vice president and director of programming for the TV station sales rep Katz Television Group, says the real effect of the “Oprah” departure won’t occur until a few years from now, when stations look to give better time periods to existing afternoon talk shows and make room for new talkers, like Katie Couric and Ricki Lake.

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