Syndication Ratings: Holidays Over, ‘Jeopardy!’ Jumps Back to the Top

'Jeopardy!' is hosted by Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik.
'Jeopardy!' is hosted by Ken Jennings and Mayim Bialik. (Image credit: Sony Pictures Television/'Jeopardy!')

Jeopardy! returned to the top of syndication in the week ended January 8, climbing 12% to a 5.8 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. CBS Media Ventures’ top-rated game show had declined in the two previous preemption-heavy holiday weeks.

Jeopardy! was followed by CBS’ sibling game Wheel of Fortune, which improved 13% to a second-place 5.4. Both Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune have been renewed for five more years on the ABC owned TV stations. 

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was flat at a 5.0 and fell back to third place among games for the fifth time in six weeks. As usual, however, the Steve Harvey-led game topped all shows among syndication’s key demographic of women 25-54 at a 1.6.

Fox’s 25 Words or Less, starring and hosted by Meredith Vieira, leapt 14% to a 0.8. Fox’s You Bet Your Life, hosted by Jay Leno, logged a 0.7 for the third straight week. CBS’ newcomer Pictionary, starring Jerry O’Connell, sketched a 0.5 for a second straight week. Allen Media Group’s Funny You Should Ask answered with a fifth consecutive 0.3. 

The first full week of 2023 was a hot one for most access shows, which snapped back after getting burned by holiday programming in the previous week. Daytime was more problematic with both ABC and NBC preempting regular schedules on Monday, January 2 for the 134th Rose Parade on NBC and the Citrus Bowl on ABC.

The five-highest rated magazines staged major comebacks. CBS’ Inside Edition increased 14% to a 2.4. CBS’ Entertainment Tonight, now in its 42nd season, was the only strip in syndication to hit a new season high, climbing 21% to a 2.3, its best performance since the week of March 28, 2022. Entertainment Tonight also topped all magazines among women 25-54, jumping 33% to a 0.8. 

NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood forged ahead 14% to a 0.8. Fox’s TMZ tacked on 17% to a 0.7. Warner Bros.’ Extra elevated 20% to a 0.6 while Fox’s Dish Nation nested at a 0.2 for the 36th time in the last 37 regularly scheduled weeks, excluding the four weeks of World Cup soccer coverage on Fox.

Except for CBS’ rising Dr. Phil and Judge Judy, daytime shows were all steady to slightly down. 

Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan remained at a talk-topping 1.6 for a 33rd consecutive week, including ties with Dr. Phil, which last happened in early September. Among women 25-54, Live led with a 0.6, followed by Dr. Phil at a 0.5 and Debmar-Mercury’s Sherri at a 0.4.

Dr. Phil was the sole talker to improve on the week, growing 8% to a second-place 1.3. The next highest talkers were NBCU’s Kelly Clarkson, CBS’ Drew Barrymore and Disney’s Tamron Hall, all of which held their ground at a 0.9, 0.8 and 0.7, respectively. 

CBS’ Rachael Ray retreated 14% to a 0.6, tying NBCU’s stable Steve Wilkos. NBCU’s out-of-production Maury persisted with a 0.5 for a fifth straight week, while NBCU’s Jerry Springer talk-court combo relapsed 25% to a 0.3.

The season’s highest-rated rookie talkers – Warner Bros.’ Jennifer Hudson and Sherri, hosted by Sherri Shepherd – stayed close, with both shows holding steady at a 0.6 and both earning renewals. NBCU’s Karamo, hosted by Karamo Brown, sustained its season-high 0.4 for a third straight week.

Repeats of Judge Judy, the sole jurist in the plus column, climbed 5% to a seven-week high 4.4. 

CBS’ Hot Bench backed off 8% to a 1.2. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court claimed a 0.8 for the third straight week. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis skidded 17% to a 0.5, tying Fox’s Divorce Court, which settled for a third straight 0.5. Wrigley Media’s Relative Justice landed at a 0.4 for the third straight week. Allen Media Group’s newcomer We the People with Judge Lauren Lake snared a 0.3 for a seventh consecutive week. 

Trifecta’s rookie true-crime strip iCrime with Elizabeth Vargas visited a 0.5 for a third week. 

Among off-network sitcoms, Warner Bros.’ leader The Big Bang Theory barrelled ahead 12% to a 1.9. Disney’s Last Man Standing jumped 10% to a 1.1. Disney’s Modern Family fell 13% to a 0.7, tying Warner Bros.’ Young Sheldon and Two and a Half Men, both of which held steady. Sony Pictures Television’s The Goldbergs gave back 14% to a 0.6, tying Disney’s Family Guy, CBS’ newcomer The Neighborhood and Sony’s Seinfeld, all of which stayed put. And finally, Disney’s Black-ish backed off 20% to a 0.4, tying Warner Bros.’ Mom, which held steady for a third week. ▪️

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.