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Syndication Ratings: 'Family Feud' Takes First Solo Sweep Win Among Games

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud, with host Steve Harvey, was the sweep's solo game leader for the first time in the just-concluded May sweep, which ran April 28 through May 25. Produced by FremantleMedia North America, Feud improved 18% from last May when it was the third-place game show to a 7.1 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, to take first place among the game shows and second place in overall syndication.

Among daytime's key demographic of women 25-54, Feud was the first-run syndication leader at a 3.5, followed by CBS Television Distribution's Judge Judy at a 3.0 and CTD's Wheel of Fortune at a 2.0.

Related: Syndication Ratings: Harvey-Hosted 'Family Feud' Leads Syndication, Games

In second place in households, Wheel of Fortune skidded 2% from last year to a 6.4, while CTD’s Jeopardy! slumped 6% to a 6.0. Debmar-Mercury’s sophomore Celebrity Name Game added 8% to a 1.4, while Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire lost 19% and dropped from fourth to fifth at a 1.3.

Elsewhere, court shows were syndication’s strongest category, with four of six strips up, one down and one even with last May.

CTD’s Judge Judy led both the courts and all of syndication in the May sweep. Judy, which has led syndication in the May sweep for the past nine years, jumped 7% to a 7.2, matching its second-highest rating since 2008.

Judy’s offspring, CTD’s Hot Bench, scored the largest sweep-to-sweep increase of any syndicated show, adding 25% from last year and finishing as daytime’s fourth-ranked strip behind Judy, CTD’s Dr. Phil and Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court climbed 6% to a 1.8. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis moved up 8% to a 1.4. Twentieth’s Divorce Court, which recently hired a new executive producer, tumbled 20% to a 1.2. Trifecta’s Judge Faith was flat at a 0.8.

Talk-show leader Dr. Phil dipped 3% from last May to a 3.2 but still scored its third-best May in the past eight years and placed first in talk for the 14th consecutive sweep. The last time Phil didn’t win a sweep was in November 2011 when Live with Regis and Kelly prevailed with the airings of Regis Philbin’s final shows. Phil also was the only talker out of 15 to gain in the sweep’s final week. 

Disney-ABC’s rechristened Live with Kelly, which saw co-host Michael Strahan depart midway through the sweep, rose 7% compared to last year to a 3.1, that show’s best May average in nine years. 

Phil and Live tied for the lead among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54 each at a 1.5.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres declined 4% to a 2.4. NBCUniversal’s SteveHarvey moved up from fifth place last year to fourth place this year with a steady 1.8. Debmar-Mercury’s WendyWilliams weakened 6% May to May to a 1.6, tying NBCU’s Maury, which was off 16% to a 1.6.

NBCU’s Steve Wilkos held firm at a 1.4, landing in a tie with SPT’s Dr. Oz and CTD’s RachaelRay, both of which rallied 8%. NBCU’s Jerry Springer slipped 8% to a 1.2. CTD’s The Doctors stayed at a 1.0. Warner Bros.’ The Real retreated 18% from last year to a 0.9 and announced during the sweep that it was letting go of original co-host Tamar Braxton. NBCU’s Meredith Vieira, which will go off the air at the end of the summer, lost 20% to a 0.8.

Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily, the only rookie that will graduate to a sophomore season, improved 13% from its September premiere to a 0.9, 

Disney-ABC’s FABLife fell 13% from its debut to a 0.7, while NBCU’s Crazy Talk sagged 17% to a 0.5.

NBCU’s Access Hollywood, at a stable 1.6 and Warner Bros.’ Extra, at a steady 1.4, were the only magazines that defied a downward trend among the magazines.

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight led the magazine category for the 103rd consecutive sweep, dating back to 1990, despite a 3% dip to a 3.1. CTD’s Inside Edition softened 6% to a 2.9. Warner Bros.’ TMZ  declined 5% to a 1.8. CTD’s The Insider eased 8% to a 1.2. Twentieth’s Dish Nation fell 18% to a 0.9. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page, to which the show was rebranded from OK! TV in March, posted a 0.3.

Meanwhile, MGM’s viral video show RightThisMinute stumbled 21% to a 1.1.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory, in its fifth season, was steady compared to last May at a 5.3. Twentieth’s Modern Family, in year three, faded 14% to a 3.0. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men slid 7% to a 2.6 in its ninth season. Twentieth’s Family Guy also in its ninth year plunged 20% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly moved down 14% in its sophomore season to a 1.9, tying Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls, which averaged a 1.9 in its first year in syndication. SPT’s Seinfeld shrank 10% to a 1.8 in year 21. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show was unchanged at a 1.6 in its third year, tying Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother, which lost 20% to a 1.6 in season six. Twentieth’s King of the Hill declined 13% to a 1.3 in year 15. 

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.