TV Ratings: Regis Who? 'Live With Kelly and Michael' Hits Six-Year High

Live with Kelly and Michael Vince Vaughn - H 2013
Disney-ABC/Dave Steele

Live with Kelly and Michael Vince Vaughn - H 2013

After adding Michael Strahan last fall, the syndicated talk show enjoys its best May sweep with the key female demo in several seasons.

Everybody loves Regis Philbin, but they also seem to love Michael Strahan when he's seated next to Kelly Ripa.

Disney distribution’s Live With Kelly and Michael rose from fifth place in the last May sweep to a virtual tie for second place with Ellen DeGeneres this year. National ratings released Wednesday by Nielsen have Live scoring a 2.5 household rating, a 9 percent increase from last year.

Live had the largest year-to-year viewership increase of any syndicated talk show, up an impressive 9 percent to an average of 3.2 million viewers a day. The show most importantly improved by 15 percent among the key demographic group of women 25-54, with a 1.5 demo rating -- its highest numbers in six years.

Dr. Phil was the highest-rated syndicated talk show for the fifth straight May sweep, with a 3.0 household rating and an average of 3.9 million viewers a day. He was also the top talker among women 25-54. His 1.9 rating in the demo was up 12 percent from last May.

Ellen continues to show her growing clout in the ratings. She had a 2.5 household rating, which is an average of 3.3 million viewers a day. She was No. 2 in the demo with a 1.6 rating, up 7 percent from May 2012.

Dr. Oz, recently renewed through 2017 on the Fox station group, was fourth among talk shows with a 2.2 rating and an average of 2.8 million viewers a day. Maury took fifth place among talkers with a 2.0 household rating, an average of just under 2.8 million viewers a day. Katie, the first-year talk show starring Katie Couric, took sixth place -- first among the freshman crop of talk shows once again. She had a 1.7 rating and about 2.1 million viewers a day.

Steve Harvey continues to impress. His talk show had a 1.5 rating, which is just over 2 million viewers a day. He has grown 25 percent since his September debut in households and beat Katie in the key female demo, with a 0.9 compared to Couric's 0.8 rating.

The Harvey-hosted Family Feud was also big news. Its 4.5 household rating marked a 50 percent increase over the game show's performance last May. Wheel of Fortune is still in first place in primetime access with a 6.3 household rating, and Jeopardy remains second with a 5.8 household rating.

The venerable Entertainment Tonight continues to lead all entertainment news magazines as it has for 91 sweep periods in a row, dating back to 1990. It has a 3.5 household rating.

And of course Judge Judy is still the queen of TV syndication. She had a 6.7 household rating for May sweep. Among off-net situation comedies, The Big Bang Theory continues to dominate. It has a 6.4 household rating in sweeps, which made it second only to Judge Judy among syndicated shows.

The May sweep covered TV shows aired between April 25 and May 22.