Syndication Ratings: Trio of Debmar-Mercury Shows Hit Series Highs

February was a memorable month for producer-distributor Debmar-Mercury, as all three of its firstrun syndicated series — “Family Feud,” “The Wendy Williams Show” and “Celebrity Name Game” — notched series-high ratings.

According to Nielsen estimates for the week ending Feb. 22, “Family Feud” continued its scorching season by matching its all-time high household rating (7.2), first set three weeks earlier. The Steve Harvey-hosted gameshow, distributed by Debmar-Mercury and from producer FremantleMedia North America, was up 11% vs. the previous week and 26% higher than the same frame a year ago.

Season-to-date, “Family Feud” is averaging a 6.2 household rating and is up in that category and most other demos by about 20%. For the first time, it also ranks as syndication’s top-rated gameshow in women 25-54, moving ahead of “Wheel of Fortune.”

In its sixth season, “Wendy Williams,” produced and distributed by Debmar-Mercury, set another household ratings record (2.0) during the week ending Feb. 22, up 5% from the previous week and 25% above the same week in 2014.  The 2.0 vaults it comfortably ahead of the likes of “Dr. Oz,” “Rachael Ray” and “Jerry Springer.”

Season-to-date, it’s averaging a 1.7 household rating — up 16% from last year. Among women 18-34, it’s tied with “Ellen DeGeneres” as the No. 2 syndie talker (behind only “Maury”).

And the newcomer of the bunch, the Craig Ferguson-hosted “Celebrity Name Game,” hit a new high in both households (1.5) and women 25-54 (0.9). The first-year gameshow from producer-distributor Debmar-Mercury and producer FremantleMedia North America averaged a 1.1 with its first week in September and had been at a 1.4 for three weeks prior to achieving its high of 1.5.

Tribune Broadcasting and Sinclair Broadcast Group earlier this year gave a season-two greenlight for the quizshow about celebs and pop culture, which was developed by Courtney Cox and David Arquette’s Coquette Prods.

Elsewhere, it was a very competitive (and good) week for the talkshows. “Dr. Phil” stayed on top in the households race (3.5), holding off “Live With Kelly & Michael” (3.4), which spiked 17% to hit a season high, and “Ellen DeGeneres” (3.1), which was on the upswing too. All three shows tied for the lead in women 25-54 (1.8).

“Steve Harvey” (2.1), “Rachael Ray” (1.6) and “Dr. Oz” (1.6) all matched their best scores of the season, and “The Doctors” spiked 18% to its high (1.3). “Meredith Vieira” also rose (to 1.2) and matched its season high in women 25-54 (0.7).

The overall household leaders in firstrun syndication for the week ending Feb. 22 were “Wheel of Fortune” (7.6), “Jeopardy” (7.4), “Judge Judy” (7.3), “Family Feud” (7.2) and “Entertainment Tonight” (3.9).

Earlier this week, CBS TV Distribution rewarded “Judge Judy” Sheindlin with a contract extension that will keep her show on the air through at least the 2019-20 season.

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