November Chill Hits Syndie

Dec 14, 2008  •  Post A Comment

A rough November full of big news stories meant very little good news for syndication sweeps. Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution’s “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” NBC Universal’s “Deal or No Deal” and CBS Television Distribution’s “The Doctors” were some of the few programs that ended the ratings period in the black.
A heated election resulting in a hefty number of preemptions, plus coverage of the rocky economy pushing viewers to cable news, left most syndication shows down by double digits from November 2007. The sweeps period is important, as it allows smaller markets to see program ratings specific to their area, which enables stations to set advertising rates.
“Ellen” is one of only a handful of major syndicated programs to show any growth from last year’s November sweeps, climbing 14% to a 2.4 household rating average. In its sixth season, “Ellen” continues to show improvement, placing fourth in the talk show genre.
The only other show in the genre to move the needle upward was NBC Universal Television Distribution’s “The Steve Wilkos Show,” which jumped 22% to a 1.1 household rating.
The rest of the talk show arena saw either stagnation or declines, including CBS Television Distribution’s “The Oprah Winfrey Show” (down 11% to a 5.6 rating) and “Dr. Phil” (off 29% to a 3.6 rating).
For the first-run daily rookie pack, “Deal” led the way during its first November sweeps, posting a 1.8 household rating. “Deal” has grown 13% from its premiere to its November sweeps average. “The Doctors” came in a close second with a 1.7, improving 31% from its premiere.
Sony Pictures Television’s “Judge Karen” slipped 10% versus its premiere to a 1.0 average, while Warner Bros.’ “The Bonnie Hunt Show” gained a tenth of a ratings point to a 0.9.
Disney-ABC’s weekly “Legend of the Seeker” ended the sweeps with a 2.4 household rating, up 29% versus the last action-adventure program in syndication, “She Spies,” in 2002.
Court shows and game shows all recorded declines in November, and the only newsmagazine to post an improvement from last November was Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution’s “TMZ,” which gained 11% to a 2.1 household rating.


  1. Let’s not forget, the occasional car chase, crashes and all, which doesn’t just happen in L.A. any more. How about Houston or Miami?

  2. Wasn’t there also severe weather in a couple of places?

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