Syndication Ratings: 'Hot Bench' Holds Household Lead

CBS Television Distribution’s new court show, Hot Bench, remained the rookie household leader in the week ending Oct. 5, holding steady at a 1.4 live plus same day household ratings average, according to Nielsen Media Research. Hot Bench, which is double run in most markets and airs as part of afternoon court blocks, is mostly cleared on lower-rated independent and smaller network affiliates.

NBCUniversal’s Meredith Vieira and Warner Bros.’ The Real, neither of which are double run, are in a tight race for second place. Meredith, which tends to lead off afternoon talk blocks on NBC-owned stations in top markets, slipped 8% in households to a 1.1 in its fourth week, while The Real in week three rebounded 11% to a 1.0, even with its premiere. The Real, which gets a boost from Wendy Williams’ strong demographic performance in many markets, led all daytime rookies among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54 with a 0.7, followed by Meredith and Hot Bench, which tied at a 0.6.

Trifecta’s new court show, Judge Faith, was flat in its second week at a 0.7 and averaged a 0.3 in the demo.

In access, Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game was unchanged from its 1.1 premiere in households, but improved 14% to a 0.8 among women 25-54.

Entertainment magazines were bolstered by massive coverage of the Venetian wedding of George Clooney to barrister Amal Alamuddin on Sept. 27.

All magazines held on to their recent gains or moved higher, with the exception of Trifecta’s OK! TV, which dropped 33% to a 0.2 from a 0.3.

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight remained the magazine household leader with its strongest ratings since the week of Aug. 11, growing 6% from the prior week to a 3.4. CTD’s Inside Edition, Warner Bros.’ TMZ and NBCU’s Access Hollywood all held steady at a 2.9, 1.9 and 1.7, respectively. Warner Bros.’ Extra matched its season high 1.6 with a 7% spike, the largest increase of any magazine. CTD’s The Insider was unchanged at a 1.2. Twentieth’s Dish Nation was flat at a 1.0.

In daytime, CTD’s Dr. Phil eased 6% for the week to a 3.0 but continued to lead the talk shows, finishing first for the fifth straight week and the 50th time in the past 62 weeks. Phil was up 11% compared to last year at this time, and led among women 25-54 with a 1.5 in the demo.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael gained 4% to a 2.9, that show’s highest rating in six months. Live, which is having its best start in seven years, also improved 7% from last year at this time, and took second place among women 25-54 with a 1.4 in the demo. Warner Bros.’ Ellen posted a 2.6 in households, up 4% for the week and 8% for the year, and tied Live in the demo for second place.

NBCU’s Steve Harvey held steady for the week and jumped 19% from last year to a 1.9, tying for fourth with NBCU’s Maury, which yielded 5%. Maury came in third among women 25-54, averaging a 1.2 in the demo, while Harvey averaged a 0.9 among that key group.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams regained 14% for the week and 23% for the year to a 1.6. In the demo, Wendy climbed 10% for the week to a 1.1. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos held firm for the week at a 1.5, a 25% surge from last year, and averaged a 1.0 in the demo. SPT’s Dr. Oz improved 7% to a 1.5 in households, and gained 14% to a 0.8 among women 25-54.

CTD’s Rachael Ray receded 7% to a 1.3. NBCU’s Jerry Springer slipped 8% to a 1.2. SPT’s Queen Latifah remained at its season-high 1.1. CTD’s The Doctors advanced 11% to a 1.0, and gained 67% in the demo to a 0.5. Meredith’s The Better Show recovered 100% to a 0.2 from last week’s 0.1.

In court, CTD’s Judge Judy held firm at a 6.7 and extended its streak as the highest-rated show in syndication for the 28th week in a row. All other court shows were stable, with the exception of MGM’s Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court, which faded 8% for the week to a 1.1 in households, but improved 38% from last year at this time. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court, Twentieth’s Divorce Court and Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis all were unchanged at a 1.7, 1.5 and 1.4, respectively.

MGM’s video variety show, RightThisMinute, continued to reap the benefits of wider clearances in its fourth season, gaining 50% from the same week last year to a 1.5, although the show declined 6% for the week.

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune led the game shows at a 6.5, up 3% from the prior week but down 3% from the same week last year. CTD’s Jeopardy! was right behind at a 6.4, up 5% for the week and 7% for the year. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud jumped 14% from the prior week to a 5.8 and 38% from last year at this time. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, with new host Terry Crews, was flat at a 2.0 in its fourth week and unchanged from last year at this time when the host was Cedric the Entertainer.

Warner Bros.’ top-rated off-net sitcom The Big Bang Theory heated up 7% from the prior week to a 5.8. Twentieth’s Modern Family finished 5% higher at a 3.9. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men recovered 4% from its all-time low in the prior session to a 2.8. Twentieth’s Family Guy was flat at a 2.4. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother moved down 4% to a 2.2. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show and Warner Bros.’ newcomer Mike & Molly both climbed 6% to a 1.8. SPT’s Seinfeld, Twentieth’s King of the Hill and Warner Bros.’ The Middle all were flat at a 1.6.

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.