Review based on a national syndicated rating report for the week ending March 1.
While most of syndication suffered sliding ratings in the session ending March 1 due in part to coverage of the coronavirus press conference by President Trump, talk show leader Dr. Phil (new season high 2.8 live plus same day national Nielsen rating, up 8% from the week before) had complete immunity and topped all talkers by a healthy margin.
“Phil,” which has operated at the top of the lengthy talk show list 178 times in the past 182 weeks, shrugged off not airing several times thanks to news coverage of the Harvey Weinstein verdict, the Kobe Bryant memorial ceremony and the South Carolina Democratic primary debate, in addition to the virus updates.
Live with Kelly and Ryan (2.0, steady) broke out of a tie in the prior frame and secured sole possession of second place.
Ellen DeGeneres (1.9, down 5%) took third.
Also in the hunt were Wendy Williams (1.3, unchanged), Maury (1.1, down 8%), Rachael Ray (1.0, down 9%) and Steve Wilkos (1.0, unchanged).
The big talk newcomers were also factors in the top tier, despite the preemptions. Kelly Clarkson (1.3, steady), the season’s highest-rated rookie, tied the long-running “Wendy” at number four among all 14 talkers in households and rose 20% in the key W25-54 demo. In addition the second-highest freshman talker, Tamron Hall (1.0, steady), was in close pursuit, matching veteran “Rachael Ray” in households, while shooting up 25% among W25-54.
The clear ratings winner of the week was Judge Judy (6.6, up 2%) even though it was in reruns for part of the session. “Judy,” which has been first-run syndication’s household ratings champion in every daypart for more than a decade, has dominated the court shows for 1,223 consecutive weeks.