National numbers for the February sweep give wins to Dr. Phil, Steve Harvey, Maury, Steve Wilkos and Wendy Williams among syndicated shows. Those that didn’t fare as well include Dr. Oz, Rachel Ray and Jerry Springer, each of which saw declines in household numbers or among the target women 25-54.
Dr. Phil easily ranked as the top talker for the sweeps period with a 3.4 household ratings (an average of 4.4 million viewers a day), which was even with his performance last February. Where he shined was in the demo with a 1.9 rating, up 6 percent year to year.
Steve Harvey was a double winner. His first year talk show tied with Katie Couric in the key female demo, while his presence on the game show Family Feud sent it soaring 66 percent above last February in households and 59 percent up in the key demo.
Among so-called conflict talkers, Maury was tops with a 2.4 household rating, up 8 percent over last February. He was down 6 percent among women 25 to 54, but his main audience of younger viewers more than made up for that making him number one in women 18-49 and women 18-34.
Steve Wilkos, in his sixth season on the air, suddenly took off. Wilkos had a 1.6 household rating (an average of 2.3 million viewers a day), which was up 14 percent from last February. Among women 25-54, his audience increased an even more impressive 20 percent year to year.
Wendy Williams continues to show growth with a 1.3 household rating (an average of 1.7 million viewers a day), w which is up 8 percent over last February. In the key female demo, Williams was up 11 percent year to year.
Among other talk shows, Live With Kelly & Michael was about even with last year (when it was Kelly Ripa and guest hosts), with a 2.8 rating (an average of 3.6 million viewers a day) and a 1.7 in the key female demo (an average of 999,000 viewers a day). Ellen DeGeneres was up 4 percent in households to a 2.7 (an average of 3.7 million viewers a day), with a 1.8 rating in the demo, up 6 percent year to year.
The loser was Dr. Oz. His show fell from second place among talk shows last February to fourth this year. Dr. Oz had a 2.5 household rating (an average of 3.4 million viewers a day), a year-over-year loss of 17 percent. He dropped 18 percent in the key female demo to a 1.4 rating.
Judge Judy continued to dominate in the court category and overall with a 7.5 household rating (10.5 million viewers a day), tying last February’s performance. Among the key female demo, however, Judge Judy was up a smart 9 percent to a 3.8 rating (an average of 2.3 million women 25-54 per day).
In off network, the phenomena of The Big Bang Theory continued, with the show scoring a 7.7 rating (12.2 million viewers a day), and a 5.5 in the female demo (roughly 3.4 million women 25-54). Two And A Half Men had a 5.4 household rating, down 14 percent from last February.
For February sweeps, The Doctors was down 18 percent in households to a 1.4 rating (an average of 1.8 million viewers a day) and was down 30 percent in the demo (an average of 430,000 women 25 to 54 each day).
The good news was that in metered markets on Monday, The Doctors soared to a new season high of 1.8 (about 2.3 million viewers) with actress Valerie Harper on the show to discuss her battle with brain cancer.
Among entertainment magazine shows, Entertainment Tonight remained on top as it has for nearly two decades, winning its 90th sweeps in a row. That was despite a drop of 5 percent from last February when its audience was boosted by the sudden death of Whitney Houston on the eve of the Grammys.