Syndication Ratings: 'Hot Bench' Gets Hotter with Upgrades

With the end of Queen Latifah, CBS Television Distribution’s rookie court show, Hot Bench, made moves in several markets and gained 6% in the week ended April 5 to a 1.7 live plus same day national rating, according to Nielsen Media Research.

In top market New York, Hot Bench moved from WLNY at noon, where it was doing a 0.2 rating/1 share to WCBS at 9 a.m., where it improved 550% to a 1.3/4. In Los Angeles, Hot Bench shifted from KCAL at 10 a.m., where it was averaging a 0.1/0, to KCBS at 2 p.m., where it gained 300% to a 0.4/1. And in Chicago, the show moved from WCUU at 11 a.m., where it was turning in a 0.1/0 to WBBC at 2 p.m., where it increased 1,000% to a 1.1/4.

As for the other rookies, Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game remained unchanged at a second place 1.3. Warner Bros.’ The Real also was flat at a 1.1, but led the newcomers among women 25-54 at a 0.9. NBCUniversal’s Meredith Vieira dropped 9% to a 1.0 in households, while Trifecta’s Judge Faith faded 11% to a 0.8.

In talk, CTD’s Dr. Phil remained partly in repeats but managed to eke out 3% to a 3.0. That tied Disney/ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael, which was in originals, for first place. Live jumped 7% for the week. Among women 25-54, Phil and Live both improved 7% to a 1.5.

In third place, Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres rebounded 14% from its season low to a 2.5 in households. NBCUniversal’s Maury held steady at a 1.9. NBCU’s Steve Harvey dipped 6% to a 1.7 to round out the top five.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, CTD’s Dr. Oz, CTD’s Rachael Ray, NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, NBCU’s Jerry Springer and CTD’s The Doctors all were flat for the week with a 1.6, 1.4, 1.3, 1.3, 1.3 and 1.0, respectively. Year to year, Wendy improved the most of any talker, gaining 45% while Dr. Oz was down the most, sinking 30%.

CTD’s Judge Judy, in repeats, climbed 7% to a 6.5 to lead the genre. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court recovered 6% to a 1.7. Twentieth’s Divorce Court lost 7% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis was flat at a 1.3. MGM’s sophomore, Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court, was unchanged at a 1.2.

In access, CTD’s Jeopardy!, which with Wheel of Fortune has been renewed through the 2017-18 TV season, tied Wheel as the top game show in households for the first time since Dec. 22. Jeopardy! jumped 5% to a 6.6, while Wheel inched up 3%, reversing three weeks of straight declines.

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud edged ahead 2% to a 6.3, and also led all of syndication among women 25-54 at a 3.2.

In repeats, Disney/ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which will replace host Terry Crews with The Bachelor’s Chris Harrison this fall, sank 11% to a 1.6, the show’s lowest rating in its 13-year history and down 24% from last year at this time.

MGM’s video variety show RightThisMinute was unchanged at a 1.4.

Magazine ratings had a firmer tone with most of March Madness behind them, although CTD’s leader Entertainment Tonight lost 6% to a 3.2 for the week. CTD’s Inside Edition inched up 3% to a 3.0. Warner Bros.’ TMZ added 5% to a 2.0. NBCU’s Access Hollywood and Warner Bros.’ Extra both were steady at a 1.7 and 1.4, respectively. CTD’s The Insider showed the most improvement in the genre, gaining 18% to a 1.3. Twentieth’s Dish Nation added 10% to a 1.1, while Trifecta’s OK! TV was flat at a 0.2 for the fourth straight week.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory cooled off 10% to a 5.7 but remained the off-net sitcom leader. Twentieth’s Modern Family increased 3% to a 3.5. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved up 4% to a 2.9. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother added 10% to a 2.3. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly fell 4% to a 2.2, tying Twentieth’s Family Guy, which was flat. SPT’s Seinfeld stayed at a 2.1. Warner Bros.’ The Middle motored ahead 13% to a 1.8, while Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show and King of the Hill both declined 6% to a 1.7 and 1.6, respectively.

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.