Review based on a national syndicated rating report for the week ending February 24.
For the week ending February 24, ratings for the vast majority of syndicated shows were stymied by preemptions for the announcement of felony criminal charges against “Empire” star Jussie Smollett.
In addition, coverage and analysis of the February 21 Chicago Police press conference bombshell dominated cable news channels for the rest of the day and provided stiff competition for syndies.
Ellen DeGeneres (2.4 live plus same day national Nielsen rating, up 9% from the week before) was the sole top tier talk show in the plus column and moved into second place behind leader Dr. Phil (3.2, down 3%). “Phil” was just a tenth of a point off its season high, topping the talkers for the 129th week in a row.
Next in line Live with Kelly and Ryan (2.3, steady), Maury (1.5, unchanged) and Steve Harvey’s Steve (season high 1.4, steady) all managed to resist any declines. Compared to last year “Steve” scored the most improvement of all daytime strips, leaping 56%.
Elsewhere in daytime perennial overall syndication topper Judge Judy (7.9, up 1%) blew by all shows in the household ratings for the 33rd consecutive week and grew 8% from last year.
On the magazine rack Daily Mail TV (series high 1.1, up 10%) was the biggest mover, tying Extra (1.1, steady). Year to year however, “Extra” had the most growth of any access program, ratcheting up 57%. Also heating up was Access (season high 1.4, steady), which jumped 14% among W25-54.
Meanwhile Jeopardy (6.8, up 5%) found the right answer to tie usual leader Family Feud (6.8, unchanged) for first place in a game show category getting crowded at the top. Wheel of Fortune (6.7, up 3%) was also very much in the hunt.