Skip to main content

Syndication Ratings: 'Hot Bench' Hits Series High

CBS Television Distribution’s Hot Bench was syndication’s only strip to hit a new series high in the week ending Oct. 18, a week that proved solid for syndies.

Hot Bench gained 5% to a 2.2 live plus same day average household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. That was up 47% from last year at this time, the biggest year-to-year increase of any strip in syndication, largely based on upgrades last spring to CBS owned stations in top markets.

Hot Bench’s parent, CTD’s Judge Judy, remained atop syndication for the 17th straight week, advancing 1% to a new season-high 6.9. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis both were flat at a 1.7 and 1.4, respectively. Twentieth’s Divorce Court added 8% to a 1.3, while MGM’s Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court and Trifecta’s Judge Faith both were unchanged at a 1.2 and 0.9, respectively.

CTD’s Dr. Phil led the talkers for the fifth week in a row and the 34th time in past 40 weeks, including ties with Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael, with a steady 3.0. Among daytime's key demographic of women 25-54, Phil continued to be the talk leader with a 1.4.

Live added 8% to a new season-high 2.8. Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres recovered 5% to a third-place 2.3, while in fourth place NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey was steady at a 1.7.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams spiked 7% to a new season-high 1.6, tying NBCU’s Maury, which eased 6%.

Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz improved 8% to a 1.3, tying CTD’s Rachael Ray, which was flat, and NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, which slipped 7%. NBCU’s Jerry Springer stayed at a 1.2. CTD’s The Doctors grew 11% to a 1.0, tying Warner Bros.’ The Real, which retreated 9%. NBCU’s Meredith Vieira was unchanged at a 0.9.

Among the rookies, Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily led the pack for the fifth consecutive week, despite yielding 11% to a 0.8. Disney-ABC’s FABLife and NBCU’s Crazy Talk held steady at a 0.7 and 0.6, respectively. Crime Watch also led the newcomers in the key demo with a 0.5, while Crazy Talk came in second at a 0.4, followed by FABLife at a 0.3.

In access, none of the magazines declined but only NBCU’s Access Hollywood and CTD's The Insider improved. Access gained 6% to a 1.7 to tie Warner Bros.’ TMZ for the first time since the week ending June 21, while The Insider moved up 10% to a 1.1. 

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight led the category at a 3.0. Also holding firm were CTD’s Inside Edition at a 2.9,  Warner Bros.’ Extra was stable at a 1.4. Twentieth’s Dish Nation was flat at a 0.9 for the sixth week in a row. Trifecta’s OK! TV dropped 33% from a 0.3 to a 0.2.

The race for first remained close between the top three shows, which were separated by just one-tenth of a ratings point. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune slid 3% to a 6.2, tying CTD’s Jeopardy!, which inched up 2% to a new season high. Nipping at their heels was Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud, which also climbed 2% to a 6.1.

Far back was Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire at a flat 1.2, down 40% from last year at this time, the largest annual drop of any syndicated strip. Debmar-Mercury’s sophomore Celebrity Name Game was unchanged at a 1.1.

Elsewhere, viral video show RightThisMinute was flat at a 1.1 for the third consecutive week.

Leading the off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory cooled off 5% to a 5.4. Twentieth’s Modern Family fell 9% to a 3.1. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men stood pat at a 2.6. Twentieth’s Family Guy gained 5% to a 2.2. Warner Bros.’ newcomer 2 Broke Girls faded 5% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly also lost 5% to a 1.8, tying Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother which moved up 6%. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show was unchanged at a 1.6. SPT’s Seinfeld sank 17% to a new season-low 1.5 after getting preempted for baseball playoffs on TBS. Twentieth’s King of the Hill was flat at a 1.3.

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.