Syndication Ratings: Courts Rise as Hurricane Winds Blow

Courts prevailed in the week ended Oct. 14, with three of the top-four shows in the genre seeing rising ratings.

Otherwise, the week was marked by coverage of both the swearing-in of newest Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and of Hurricane Michael, which caused widespread preemptions and power outages as well as massive destruction in Florida’s panhandle.

CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Judy set the pace among the courts and topped all of syndication for the 11th straight week with a 6.8 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, up 1% for the week.

In second place, CTD’s Hot Bench climbed 5% to a new season high 2.3, its best rating since the week of May 7 and ranking it the number-three show in daytime behind only Judy and CTD’s top talker, Dr. Phil.

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Warner Bros.’ People’s Court maintained a 1.4, while Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis moved up 11% to a 1.0. Twentieth’s Divorce Court held steady at a 0.7.

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud advanced 5% to a new season-high 6.2 and returned to sole possession of first place atop the games after losing and then tying in the prior two weeks. CTD’s Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune both held steady in a tie for second place among the games at a 5.9.

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Further back, Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire remained at a 1.6 for a fifth straight week, while Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask stayed at a 0.5 for the 12th consecutive week.

Disney-ABC’s viral video show RightThisMinute clocked an unchanged 1.2 for the fourth consecutive week.

In daytime, Dr. Phil led the talkers for the 110th week in a row, including two ties, and held firm at a 2.8. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil led with a 1.3.

In second place, Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Ryan fell back 5% to a 2.1 after hitting a new season high in the prior week.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres was unchanged at a 2.0 for a third consecutive week. NBCU’s Maury recovered 8% to a 1.4. NBCU’s Steve held steady at a 1.3 tying Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which gained 8%. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos was flat at a 1.1 for a fifth straight week, tying CTD’s Rachael Ray, which was flat, and SPT’s Dr. Oz, which rose 10% to a new season high.

Warner Bros’ The Real rebounded 17% to a 0.7. CTD’s The Doctors, NBCU’s Jerry Springer and Disney-ABC’s Pickler & Ben, produced by E.W. Scripps, all held with the prior week at a 0.5, 0.4 and 0.4, respectively.

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CTD’s rookie panel talker Face the Truth, starring Vivica A. Fox, stood fast at a 0.7 with a 0.4 among women 25-54, while Debmar-Mercury’s courtroom newcomer Caught in Providence was unchanged at a 0.5 in households and down 33% to a 0.2 from a 0.3 in the key demo.

CTD’s InsideEdition added 3% to a 3.0 to lead the magazines, finishing just ahead of sister show Entertainment Tonight, which strengthened 4% to a 2.9. NBCU’s Access gave back 8% to a 1.2, after notching a 20-week high in the prior session, to tie Warner Bros.’ TMZ, which also lost 8%.

CTD’s DailyMailTV delivered a steady 1.0, tying Warner Bros.’ Extra, which eased 9%. Twentieth’s Page Six TV was unchanged at a 0.7. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page stood pat at a 0.2.

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On the unscripted true-crime beat, NBCU’s off-network Dateline surged 17% to a new season-high 1.4. SPT’s off-A&E Live PD Police Patrol and off Investigation Discovery’s True Crime Files remained at a 0.9 and 0.3, respectively.

NBC’s scripted crime procedural Chicago PD held at a 0.8 in week three and grew 25% among women 25-54 to a new season high 0.5.

Warner Bros.’ off-net sitcom leader The Big Bang Theory inched up 2% to a 4.2. Twentieth’s Last Man Standing jumped 5% to a 2.1. Twentieth’s Modern Family was flat at a 1.9. SPT’s The Goldbergs grew 7% to a new season-high 1.5. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved ahead 8% to a 1.4. Twentieth’s Family Guy eroded 8% to a 1.2. Disney-ABC’s rookie Black-ish blew up 10% to hit a new season-high 1.1, tying Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly, which stayed at a 1.1 for a fourth straight week. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls remained at a 1.0 for a sixth straight week, while SPT’s Seinfeld was steady at a 0.9.

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.