Former ‘Oprah’ slots fare well

'Dr. Oz,' 'Ellen' are big syndication ratings gainers in May sweep

“Oprah” may be gone from syndication, but shows that inherited its timeslots enjoyed a clear advantage over the rest of the field in the May sweep.

For the first two weeks of the ratings period, the talkshows that took over the majority of the “Oprah” afternoon time periods — Sony’s “Dr. Oz” and Warner Bros.’ “Ellen” — were up 18% and 20%, respectively, vs. a year ago.

Nielsen estimates that “Oz” also has gained 22% among women 18-49, and 25% among women 25-54, while holding steady in women 18-34. And. “Ellen” has improved across the board, gaining 22% in women 18-34 and nearly 10% in both women 18-49 and 25-54.

While “Oz” and “Ellen” are the only two talkers drawing a larger overall audience than last year, several others have improved in the key demos.

Disney-ABC’s “Live! With Kelly,” in its first May sweep without Regis Philbin, is up 7% in women 18-34 and 11% in women 18-49, while holding steady among women 50-plus. CBS Television Distribution’s food-focused “Rachael Ray” is flat year to year among women 18-49, but has risen 25% in the younger, 18-34 half of the demo. And Debmar-Mercury’s “Wendy Williams” is up across the demo board.

Meanwhile, CBSTD’s “Dr. Phil,” which became the most popular syndie talker after Oprah Winfrey’s exit, is down 3% year-to-year in same-day household ratings and by a bit more (5%-7%) in various older femme categories; it has maintained its year-ago average, though, in women 18-34.

And NBCU’s three so-called conflict talkers — “Maury,” “Jerry Springer” and “Steve Wilkos” — are all flat year to year in households. “Maury” is up 7% in women 25-54, while the other two have dropped among all groups of women.

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