Syndication Ratings: Baseball Beats 'Big Bang' Down

Warner Bros.' The Big Bang Theory -- syndication's biggest new show -- took a hit from baseball in the week ending Oct. 9 as baseball playoffs took over the show's cable home, TBS.

Big Bang declined 12% to a 4.4 live plus same day national household rating during the week, but as the playoffs wind down and Big Bang settles into its regular plays on TBS, the show's ratings are expected to skyrocket, surpassing even those of Warner Bros.' long-time off-net leader, Two and a Half Men.

Overall, it was a slow week for syndies, with levels of people using television down by more than 600,000 viewers during an unseasonably warm week. Many shows also were preempted in New York when a helicopter crashed into the East River, killing several passengers, and causing local news to break into regular syndicated programming.

The situation was much the same for the rest of the off-net rookie sitcoms. NBCUniversal's 30 Rock, which does not get much of its rating from its cable runs, declined 7% to a 1.3 in mostly lesser-viewed late-fringe time periods. Twentieth's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia was unchanged at a 1.2, while Sony's ‘Til Death dropped 14% to a 0.6.

For now, Two and a Half Men still leads the veteran off-net sitcoms, dipping 3% to a 6.4 and second place among all syndicated shows. Twentieth's Family Guy dropped 15% to a 3.4. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother softened 12% to a 3.0. Sony's Seinfeld skidded 12% to a 2.3. Warner Bros.' Friends fell 4% to a 2.2. CBS Television Distribution's Everybody Loves Raymond and Twentieth's King of the Hill were flat at a 2.1. Carsey-Werner's That 70s Show slumped 16% to a 1.6.

Sony's Dr. Oz claimed its first week as the top talker, dipping 3% to a 2.8. CTD's Dr. Phil, which had a big opening month, declined 10% to a 2.7 and dropped out of first place among the talkers for the first time this season. Disney-ABC's Live with Regis and Kelly was flat at a 2.5. Warner Bros.' Ellen was unchanged at a 2.2. NBCU's Maury eroded 13% to a 2.0. CTD's The Doctors decreased 7% to a 1.4, tying CTD's Rachael Ray, which was flat. NBCU's Jerry Springer sank 13% to a 1.3. NBCU's Steve Wilkos weakened 14% to a 1.2. Sony's Nate Berkus and Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams each were unchanged at a 1.1 and 1.0, respectively.

Among the rookie first-runs, Warner Bros.' Anderson, preempted in New York on one day due to the helicopter crash, eased 8% to a 1.2, although in general the show has been trending downward. Debmar-Mercury's Jeremy Kyle was flat at a 0.5, while Entertainment Studios' We the People with Gloria Allred declined 20% to a 0.4. Trifecta's Last Shot with Judge Gunn, a new court show, premiered at a 0.3. CTD's Excused, a late-night dating show, was flat at a 0.6.

CTD's Judge Judy remained the top-rated court at a 6.2, but dropped out of first place among all syndies, declining 7% from the prior week. CTD's Judge Joe Brown was down 7% to a 2.6. Warner Bros.' People's Court declined 5% to a 1.9. Twentieth's Judge Alex stumbled 12% to a 1.5, tying Judge Mathis, which retreated 6%. CTD's Swift Justice held steady at a 1.3, tying Twentieth's Divorce Court, which declined 13%. Entertainment Studios' America's Court with Judge Ross was flat at a 0.9.

CTD's Entertainment Tonight remained the top magazine at a 3.6, falling 5% from the prior week. CTD's Inside Edition slid 3% to a 3.0. NBCU's Access Hollywood was steady at a 1.9. Warner Bros.' TMZ was down 5% to a 1.8. CTD's The Insider was stable at a 1.6, while Warner Bros.' Extra was off 6% to a 1.5.

Among the game shows, CTD's Wheel of Fortune fell 1% to a 6.6, but was syndication's top-rated show in households. CTD's Jeopardy! edged ahead 2% to a 5.6. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud was flat at a 2.6. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire lost 4% to a 2.3.

Paige Albiniak

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.