Syndication Ratings: Court Shows Steady in Otherwise Tepid Week

Court was syndication’s steadiest genre in the mostly flat-to-down week ending April 16 that was characterized by warm weather and low levels of people using television. In addition, many shows were in repeats as they prepared for May sweeps, which starts April 27.

For the third week in a row, CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Judy led all of syndication at a 6.5 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. Judy was in reruns on two of the five days and dipped 3% from the prior week.

Judge Judy Sheindlein’s creation, Hot Bench, was second among the gavelers, with a 5% rise to a 2.2, despite being completely in repeats. Hot Bench tied with Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly as daytime’s third-highest-rated daytime strip after only Judy and CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court climbed 7% to a 1.6. Warner Bros.’ JudgeMathis remained at its season-low 1.2. Twentieth’s Divorce Court and Trifecta’s Judge Faith both were on par from the week before at a 1.0 and 0.8, respectively.

Dr. Phil remained the top talker, even after easing 9% to a 3.0, extending its winning streak over the category to 32 weeks. Phil also led the talk shows among women 25-54 at a 1.4.

Live with Kelly was steady at a second-place 2.2. Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres fell 5% to a 2.0. NBCUniversal’s Maury slid 6% to a 1.5 and dropped into a tie for fourth place with NBCU’s Steve Harvey, which was flat for a third straight week.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams returned to original episodes after two weeks of reruns and leapt 27% to a 1.4 and sixth place among the talkers.

The rest of the talk shows were separated by just half a ratings point. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos held firm at a 1.3. CTD’s Rachael Ray retreated 8% to its previous season low 1.2, and tumbled 20% from last year at this time, tying NBC’s Jerry Springer, which was steady. Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz fell to its all-time series low with an 8% decline to a 1.1, off 21% from last year at this time. NBCU’s rookie Harry, which was in repeats on four of the five days, gave back 10% to a 0.9, tying Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily, which also fell back 10%. CTD’s The Doctors and Warner Bros.’ The Real both held steady at a 0.8.

In access, not a single game show improved, but Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud remained the genre’s top show at a flat 6.4. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune sank 7% to a 5.7. CTD’s Jeopardy! also sagged 7% to a 5.5. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire broke even at a 1.6. Debmar-Mercury’s soon-to-end Celebrity Name Game faded 8% to a 1.2.

Elsewhere, Disney-ABC’s viral video show Right This Minute softened 7% to a new season-low 1.3.

Magazines, like the game shows, also were all flat to down. CTD’s Entertainment Tonight backed off 6% to a 2.9. CTD’s Inside Edition slumped 4% to a 2.6. Warner Bros.’ TMZ was unchanged at a 1.5. NBCU’s Access Hollywood eroded 14% to a new season-low 1.2, shrinking 25% from last year. Warner Bros.’ Extra eased 8% to a 1.1. CTD’s The Insider held steady at a 1.0. Twentieth’s Dish Nation stayed at a 0.8 for the 14th time in the past 15 weeks and Trifecta’s Celebrity Page registered its usual 0.3 for the fifteenth straight week.

Warner Bros.’ off-net sitcom leader The Big Bang Theory faded 4% to a 4.6. Twentieth’s ModernFamily fell 7% to a 2.6. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men and Twentieth’s Family Guy remained at a 2.3 and 1.8, respectively. Warner Bros.’ Mike and Molly relinquished 6% to a 1.7. Twentieth’s newcomer Last Man Standing also stumbled 6% to a 1.6. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls was one of the few gainers, adding 7% to a 1.5. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show was flat at a 1.3, while Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother rose 9% to a 1.2, tying SPT’s Seinfeld, which was steady.

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for more than 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for The Global Entertainment Marketing Academy of Arts & Sciences (G.E.M.A.). 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.