Syndication Ratings: Family Guy Falls Out of First

In the week ending Sept. 30, Twentieth’s Family Guy came off its brief pedestal atop the off-network sitcoms, falling 12% to a 3.7 national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Family Guy still landed in a respectable second place in the category in the first month of its better-than-expected rookie year.

CBS’ Everybody Loves Raymond regained the top slot, climbing 5% to a 3.9 to regain the lead. Meanwhile, Warner Bros.’ rookie Two and a Half Men moved into contention by jumping 9% to a 3.6, tying for third place with Sony’s long-running Seinfeld, which was up 3%.

Warner Bros.’ The George Lopez Show appeared on the chart for the first time at a 2.2 after being reprocessed the two prior weeks.

And NBC Universal’s rookie off-net strip, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, was unchanged at a 1.3 in its second week of syndication.

Warner Bros.’ TMZ finally appeared on the national ratings chart in its third week on the air after being reprocessed for its first two outings. TMZ debuted on the chart at a 1.7, finally officially giving it the title of top-rated first-run rookie.

Still, the show took last place in the overall magazine genre. CBS’ Entertainment Tonight remained No. 1, hitting its highest ratings in 16 weeks at a 4.8, up 9% from the prior week.

In fact, all of the magazines were up or even for the week. CBS’ Inside Edition jumped 6% to a 3.3. CBS’ The Insider and NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood tied at a 2.3, with The Insider holding steady and Access up 5% from the prior week. Warner Bros.’ Extra jumped 6% to a 1.8, just barely beating studio sibling TMZ.

With fall finally coming on and the kids in school, three of the 13 talk shows were up week-to-week, while most of the rest were flat. Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis and Kelly, in third place overall, climbed 3% to a 3.1. CBS’ Rachael Ray tied Warner Bros.’ Ellen for fourth at a 1.9, up 6%. And NBC Universal’s Martha Stewart jumped 11% to a 1.0.

The top talker, CBS’ Oprah, dropped 5% to a 5.4, just 0.9 away from her spinoff, Dr. Phil, which was unchanged at a 4.5. Ellen was flat at a 1.9.

The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, which premiered in national syndication two weeks ago, averaged a 0.8, tying NBC Universal’s Steve Wilkos, which dropped 11% from the prior week. Season to date, Wilkos remains the only rookie strip to hold even with its lead-in or year-ago time period averages.

Among the court rookies, Radar Entertainment’s Jury Duty, which isn’t cleared as fully as this year’s other newcomers, entered the national chart at an anemic 0.2 in its second week on the air. The other court rookie, Sony’s Judge David Young, remained flat at a 0.8.

The top court, CBS’ Judge Judy, was flat at a 4.6, followed by CBS’ Judge Joe Brown at a 2.7, up 8%. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis scored a 2.5 and 2.1, respectively, after being reprocessed for the prior two weeks. Twentieth Television’s Divorce Court was up 6% to a 1.8.

Neither of the rookie games seems to be scoring. Program Partners’ Let’s Play Crosswords saw its second 4:30 p.m. run on WNBC New York replaced with a repeat of Access Hollywood. Crosswords was unchanged for the week at a 0.8. Twentieth’s Temptationwas reprocessed for the third week in a row.

Meanwhile, the top three veteran games were all higher. CBS’ Wheel of Fortune was up 6% to a 7.2; CBS’ Jeopardy! was up 4% to a 5.9; and Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be aMillionaire was up 4% to a 2.8.

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.