Skip to main content

Looking to Reach Women in Daytime TV? Syndication Is a Solid Alternative

Marketers who wish to find an alternate route to reach women in daytime would be well served by grabbing the remote and switching over
from broadcast to syndicated TV shows, many of which are continuing to offer comparable

True, The Oprah Winfrey Show may be gone,
but there is a new queen of daytime TV, and she works her magic with a gavel
instead of a smile. Actually, it's not even fair to tab Judge Judy Sheindlin as
the new queen, since Judge Judy
was earning higher ratings than Oprah
during Winfrey's last two years on syndicated television.

Even Brad Adgate, senior VP of research for Horizon Media, is
ready to correct the notion. "Judge Judy
is the new Oprah of daytime TV-actually, she was [already] beating Oprah while Oprah was still on."

Now in its 17th season, Judge Judy, according to
Nielsen data, is averaging 9 million viewers per day, with 5.7 million of
those being women. Included in those female numbers is a 2.4 women 18-49 demo
rating and a 3.3 women 25-54 demo rating. While the series has a median age
viewer of 60, that is on par with almost every other syndicated daytime show,
as well as the broadcast network daytime soaps, talk and game shows.

"The syndicated TV daytime audience skews heavy older women
because they are mainly the people who are home during the day,"
Adgate says.

Each of the four remaining soap operas on the broadcast networks
-- Days of Our Lives on NBC, General Hospital on ABC and The
Young and the Restless
and The Bold and the Beautiful on CBS -- have
median-age audiences of between 55 and 59. Talk and cooking
shows such as CBS' The Talk and ABC's The View and The
have median-age audiences of 59-61, while game show The Price is
 is up at 64. Judge Judy,
therefore, is right in that wheelhouse, as are other daytime syndicated

The second most-watched daytime syndicated show is game show
Family Feud, which has been averaging 5.9 million viewers with 3.8
million of those being women since mid-September; the median age of its viewers
is 57. Dr. Phil is next, averaging 3.8 million viewers since
mid-September, with 2.9 million of those being women and a median age of 59.

Other top syndicated series reaching mostly women this
season include The Ellen DeGeneres
, which is averaging 3.1 million viewers of which 2.3 million are
women; The Dr. Oz Show, averaging 3
million viewers, of which 2.3 million are women; Judge JoeBrown
and Live! With Kelly and Michael, both averaging 3.3 million
viewers and 2 million women; the new Katie Couric show Katie, averaging
2.4 million viewers and 1.8 million women; and Maury and Who Wants to
Be a Millionaire,
both averaging 3 million viewers and 1.9 million women.

Other daytime syndicated shows averaging more than 1 million
women per day include: The People's Court, 1.6 million women; The
Williams Show, 1.4 million; The Rachael Ray Show and Judge
, 1.3 million each; Judge Alex
and the new Steve Harvey talk show, 1.2 million each; and Divorce
and Jerry Springer,
1.1 million women each.

The broadcast network daytime shows do reach more women than
most of the syndicated daytime shows do, but there are fewer of them. The most
watched broadcast daytime series is CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless, which averages about 4.5 million
viewers with 3.4 million being women. That would rank it third among all
daytime shows watched by women, behind Judge
and Family Feud and just ahead of Dr. Phil.

The Price Is Right, currently the oldest-skewing daytime series, draws about 2.5
million women for its 11 a.m. show and 3 million women for its 11:30 a.m. show.
The View averages 2.7 million women, The Bold and the Beautiful draws
2.4 million women, General Hospital and Days ofOur Lives
about 1.8 million women each and The Talk and The Chew about 1.7
million viewers each.

While broadcast daytime shows do draw more viewers, the
Syndicated Network Television Association points out in a recent study that
daytime syndication offers 68% of ad impressions targeting women 18-49 and 66%
of impressions targeting women 25-54.

That same study adds that JudgeJudy (3.3),
(1.7) and Family Feud (1.4) draw higher women 18-49 ratings
than the broadcast network daytime shows, and that Dr. Phil (1.3) ties
CBS' The Young and the Restless in the 18-49 women's demo category. Live!
With Kelly and Michael
(1.1) and Ellen (1.1) are next in the demo,
ahead of ABC's The View (1.0), which has a similar demo rating to Judge
Joe Brown.
The study collected numbers just prior to the start of the new
season in September; while a few of the ratings numbers have changed, the order
remains pretty much the same.

Among women 25-54, Judge Judy is the clear leader, averaging
a 3.3, followed by The Young and the Restless, trailing considerably
with a 1.8. Syndicated series Dr. Phil, Maury, Family Feud, Ellen and Live!
With Kelly and Michael
are next, ahead of The View, The Bold and the Beautiful and General Hospital.

All said, there aren't too many successful new daytime
syndicated series this season when it comes to reaching women viewers. Other
than Katie and Steve Harvey, no other new series is averaging
more than 1 million female viewers per day. The new Jeff Probst and Ricki
shows are averaging about 650,000 female viewers per day each.

Adgate says it's simply harder to succeed with a new
syndicated series today, whether it be for daytime or at night. He adds that
many of the current syndicated series would have been failures had they been on
a decade ago, based on their current ratings numbers.

"The bar for being a syndication hit, or even staying on the
air, has been lowered," Adgate says. "Today, the long-time syndicated series
keep drawing steady audiences each year and they are joined only by off-network
comedies that move into syndication. Even the Oprah audience has splintered with each of the daytime shows
picking up little pieces of her former audience."