Syndication Ratings: Holzhauer's Return Sends 'Jeopardy!' to Top of Charts

Week one of Jeopardy!’s Tournament of Champions, which featured the return of super-contestant James Holzhauer in the week ended Nov. 10, sent the show to a season-high 6.7 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, up 10% from the prior week.

That’s the show’s biggest rating since the week ended June 9, which included Holzhauer’s June 3 loss to Chicago librarian Emma Boettcher, whom he returned to defeat in the November tournament.

Holzhauer will be featured in ABC’s Jeopardy! Greatest of All Time tournament, which will see him face off against Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in primetime when it kicks off Tuesday, Jan. 7.

Related: Holzhauer to Take on Jennings, Rutter in ABC Primetime 'Jeopardy!' Tournament

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune, which is paired with sister series Jeopardy! in many large markets, added 7% to hit a new season-high 6.3. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud remained in third place for a third straight week, even though the Steve Harvey-led game added 3% to a 6.0.

Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask was unchanged at a 0.5 for a seventh straight week.

Even with the Holzhauer boost, Jeopardy! was no match for CTD’s syndie leader, Judge Judy, which grew 6% to a new season-high 7.1, its biggest number since the week ended May 19, and extended its overall syndication lead for a 15th straight week. Judy has now led all syndies every week since the week ending July 7.

Judge Judy Sheindlin brain-child Hot Bench grew 10% to a new season-high 2.2, its best number since the week ending June 16 and ranking it as the third-highest show in daytime behind only Judy and CTD’s Dr. Phil.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court climbed 8% to a 1.4, while its Judge Mathis maintained a 0.9.

Related: Fox Renews Five Warner Bros.' Syndies

Fox’s recently renewed Divorce Court faded 14% to a 0.6. Debmar-Mercury’s Caught in Providence was on par with the prior week’s 0.5.

Related: Fox Stations Renew '25 Words or Less,' 'Divorce Court,' 'Dish Nation' for 2020-21 Season

Also in first run, Disney’s internet video show RightThisMinute remained at its series-low 0.8 for a ninth straight week.

Talk shows were steady to down after a strong showing in the prior week.

Dr. Phil held steady at its season-high 2.6 for second week and took first place in talk for the 166th straight week with five ties.

Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil also led with a 1.1.

Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan remained at its season-high 2.1, claiming the number-two slot among talkers for the 37th straight week, including one tie.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres declined 5% to a 1.9. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams weakened 7% to a 1.3. NBCU’s Maury flatlined at a 1.1 for the eighth consecutive week. CTD’s Rachael Ray retreated 9% to a 1.0, tying NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, which was unchanged at a 1.0. Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, Warner Bros.’ The Real, CTD’s The Doctors and NBCU’s out-of-production syndicated version of Jerry Springer all were flat at a 0.9, 0.6, 0.5 and 0.3, respectively.

Among the rookies, NBCU’s The Kelly Clarkson Show, which was renewed for season two on Monday, and Disney’s Tamron Hall both held their ground at a 1.4 and a 1.0, respectively, in their ninth week on the air.

Related: 'Kelly Clarkson' Scores Season 2 Renewal

Clarkson continued to rank fourth among the veteran talkers behind only Phil, Live and Ellen. Hall held at its season high for a sixth straight week. SPT’s Mel Robbins also stayed at a 0.4 for the fifth consecutive week.

Jerry Springer’s Judge Jerry jumped 11% to a 1.0. MGM/Orion’s Personal Injury Court and Trifecta’s Protection Court both were flat at a 0.5 and 0.3, respectively.

Fox’s 25 Words or Less, which also has been renewed for a second season, was unchanged at a 0.9 in its eighth week on the air. SPT’s off-GSN America Says stayed at a 0.6 for the fourth straight week.

CTD’s Inside Edition led the magazines with a 4% gain to a new season-high 2.9. CTD’s Entertainment Tonight dipped 4% from a season high set in the prior week to a 2.7. NBCU’s Access Hollywood held steady at its season-high 1.4 for a fourth consecutive week. Warner Bros.’ TMZ was unchanged at a 1.1. Warner Bros.’ Extra, which was preempted in the top-six markets for Fox’s Thursday Night Football, was penalized 10% from the prior week’s season high to a 0.9.

CTD’s DailyMailTV eased 11% from its season high to a 0.8. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page remained at a 0.2 for the 19th straight week.

Week two of Debmar-Mercury’s five-week trial run of Central Ave on Fox stations in select markets averaged a 0.8 rating/2 share, down 27% from both its lead- in and year-ago time period average. Among women 25-54, Central Ave averaged a 0.6/2, off 25% from its lead-ins and down 14% from its November 2018 time periods.

On the crime beat, NBCU’s Dateline delivered a 9% increase to a 1.2. SPT’s off-A&E Live PD Police Patrol followed with a steady 1.0, while the lone scripted strip in syndication, NBCU’s Chicago PD, came in flat at a 0.8.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory warmed up 7% to a 3.1. Disney’s Last Man Standing stayed at a 1.9. Disney’s Modern Family fell 18% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved up 8% to a 1.3, tying SPT’s The Goldbergs, which was unchanged. Disney’s Family Guy grew 9% to a 1.2. SPT’s Seinfeld shrank 10% to a 0.9, tying Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly and Mom, both of which improved 13%, and Disney’s Black-ish, 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.