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Syndication Ratings: As Tokyo Olympics Kick Off, Syndies Take a Dive

Jordan Chiles competes at the floor on day two during the qualification of the women in gymnastics at the Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 25, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
Tokyo Olympics create strong competition against regularly scheduled daytime and primetime programming. (Image credit: Tom Weller/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Competition from the Tokyo Olympics, although far lower-rated than Rio in 2016, kept syndies benched in the week ended July 25 with events airing on NBC affiliates starting July 23. Big Three affiliates also preempted shows on July 20 to cover the launch of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos into space in his Blue Origins rocket and in general, levels of people watching television were typically low in the late-July frame.

CBS Media Ventures’ Entertainment Tonight was the only show in access to improve, gaining 5% to a 2.0 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. CMV’s Inside Edition led the group with an unchanged 2.1. NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood, Warner Bros.’ TMZ and Warner Bros.’ Extra all held steady at a 0.8, 0.7 and 0.6, respectively. CMV’s DailyMailTV posted a 17% decline to a 0.5. Fox’s Dish Nation remained at a 0.3 for the 46th time in the past 47 weeks. 

Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts replaced her GMA co-anchor George Stephanopoulos as guest host on Jeopardy! during the week and the show downticked 2% to a 4.7, matching the show’s lowest rating of 2021. Fan favorite LeVar Burton is guest-hosting from July 26 through August 6.

Debmar-Mercury’s game leader Family Feud was flat at a 5.5 to remain in the syndication lead. CMV’s Wheel of Fortune spun to a season-low 4.5 for the fourth straight week. Fox’s 25 Words or Less and Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask held at a 0.7 and a 0.5, respectively. 

Disney’s internet video show RightThis Minute mustered a season-low 0.6 for the 17th time in 18 weeks.  

Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan registered a steady 1.7 to rack up its 11th straight win in the talk-show race, including one tie with CMV’s Dr. Phil. Live was also the only strip of any type to grow from the same week last year, improving 6%. 

Among women 25-54, Live led the talkers with a 0.8 among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, followed by repeats of Dr. Phil and NBCU’s Kelly Clarkson at a 0.5 and a 0.4, respectively. 

Phil fell back 7% to a 1.4 in households for second place among the talkers. NBCU’s Maury clocked a 0.9 for the seventh week in a row. Clarkson stayed at a 0.8, tying Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which weakened 20% as it began its summer hiatus. Disney’s sophomore Tamron Hall, which will move from Weigel’s WCIU Chicago to ABC’s WLS Chicago next season, stayed at a 0.7, despite going into repeats on four of the five days. That tied Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres, which dropped 13% to a new series low, CMV’s Rachael Ray, which was stable and NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, which recovered 17% after four weeks at a series low 0.6.  

Also Read: 'Tamron Hall' Moving to ABC-Owned WLS Chicago This Fall

CMV’s rookie Drew Barrymore, which was the sole talk show to improve in the prior week, held at a 0.5 for a second week, tying Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, which stayed put. 

Warner Bros.’ The Real realized a 0.3 for the tenth straight week. CMV’s The Doctors delivered a 0.2 for the 22nd straight week, tying NBCU’s out-of-production syndicated run of Jerry Springer, which held steady for the 46th consecutive week. 

CMV’s Judge Judy dipped 4% to a 4.7 but led the court shows and tied Jeopardy! as syndication’s second-highest rated show.

CMV’s Hot Bench backtracked 7% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis maintained a 0.8 and a 0.6, respectively. NBCU’s Judge Jerry rebounded 20% to a 0.6 after six weeks at its series-low 0.5, tying Mathis. Fox’s Divorce Court tumbled 20% to a new series-low 0.4, while repeats of Trifecta’s Protection Court were constant at a 0.2.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang theory heated up 5% to lead the off-network sitcoms at a 2.2 after setting a new series low in the prior week. Disney’s Last Man Standing stayed at a 1.5 for the fifth straight week. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved up 11% to a 1.0. Disney’s Modern Family fostered a 0.9 for the ninth week in a row. SPT’s The Goldbergs eroded 11% to a 0.8, tying Disney’s Family Guy and SPT’s Seinfeld, both of which stood pat at a 0.8. Finally, Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly managed a new series low, losing 14% to a 0.6, tying Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls, Disney’s Black-ish and Warner Bros.’ Mom, all of which were on par with the prior week’s 0.6. 

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.