Syndication Ratings: It's the DNC's Turn to Take Out Syndies

Flat ratings and season lows were the norm among syndies with the Democratic National Convention providing much greater than usual competition in the week ending July 31.

Only two of the top-tier talk shows were up from the previous session: CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil and Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly, with both shows growing 4% to tie at a 2.4. Live, which has led the talkers or tied for first eight out of the past nine weeks, also jumped 20% to lead daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54 at a 1.2.

Only Dr. Phil and CTD’s Rachael Ray avoided falling compared to last year, with both shows holding steady year to year.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres remained the third-place talker, although it slipped 6% to a new season-low 1.6. NBCUniversal’s Maury was unchanged at a 1.5 but tumbled 21% from last year at this time, the biggest annual loss of any talker after NBCU’s out-of-production Meredith Vieira, which fell 44%.

NBCU’s Steve Harvey skidded 7% to a 1.4, matching its season low. SPT’s Dr. Oz stayed at its series-low 1.2 for a seventh straight week, remaining tied with NBCU’s Steve Wilkos and Rachael Ray, which also were unchanged.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, in repeats, dropped 21% to a new season low 1.1, tying NBCU’s Jerry Springer, which rebounded 10% after hitting a season low in the prior week. CTD’s The Doctors declined 11% to a 0.8. Warner Bros.’ The Real retreated 13% to a 0.7. Meredith Vieira fell 17% for the week to a new series-low 0.5 as it prepares to wrap its run.

Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily, the only one of this season’s rookies that will come back for a sophomore year, remained in reruns but held steady at a 0.8. Disney-ABC’s FABLife and NBCU’s Crazy Talk both were flat at a 0.6 and 0.4, respectively.

In the metered markets, SoMe completed its fourth and final week after launching July 11 in six metered markets with double runs in New York and Los Angeles. Across the four weeks, the show averaged a 0.3 rating/1 in households in the week ended Aug. 7, unchanged from the prior week.

Page Six TV, the highest rated of Fox’s five first-run summer previews, also completed its three-week preview, maintaining a 1.0/2 in its final week despite competition from NBC’s coverage of the Olympics opening ceremony in Rio on Aug. 5.

Back in the national ratings, CTD’s Judge Judy was the only court show to improve, even though it was in repeats on four out of five days. Judy rose 2% to a 6.4, which was the top score in daytime and second only to Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud by two-tenths of a ratings point on the overall chart.

CTD’s Hot Bench also aired four days of reruns, dipping 5% to a 2.1, still 11% ahead of last year and fourth among all daytime strips behind only Judy, Phil and Live for the 13th consecutive week.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis stood pat at 1.6 and 1.3, respectively. Twentieth’s Divorce Court declined 10% to a 0.9. Trifecta’s Judge Faith was flat at a 0.7.

In access, Family Feud overpowered the game shows for the 14th week in a row and continued to lead all syndies, although the Steve Harvey-hosted show slipped 6% for the week to a 6.6.

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune dipped 2% to a 5.2, that show’s lowest rating in nearly four years. CTD’s Jeopardy! recovered 2% to a 5.1 after falling to a new season low in the prior week.

Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game gained 8% to a 1.3 Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire remained at a 1.2 for the fourth straight week but lost 29% from last year, the most of any game show. Year to year, Feud increased 12%, Wheel skidded 12%, Jeopardy! slumped 16% and Name Game held steady.

MGM’s RightThisMinute stood pat for the week at a 1.0 but dropped 23% from last year.

Elsewhere in access, CTD’s Entertainment Tonight—whose executive producer, Brad Bessey, is departing—and sister show Inside Edition remained tied at the top of the magazines, with each show easing 4% to new season lows of 2.5. Warner Bros.’ TMZ stayed at its season-low 1.3 for a second week. NBCU’s Access Hollywood eroded 8% to a new season-low 1.1. Warner Bros.’ highly-preempted Extra eased 10% to a new season-low 0.9. CTD’s The Insider, another political victim, relinquished 20% to a new season-low 0.8.

Twentieth’s Dish Nation, which had fallen to a season low in the prior session, recovered 14% to a 0.8, tying The Insider. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page posted its usual 0.3 for the 18th consecutive week.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory inched up 2% to a 4.7 to lead the off-net sitcoms. Twentieth’s Modern Family was flat at a 2.6. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men and Twentieth’s Family Guy both were unchanged at a 2.3 and 2.1, respectively. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls gained 6% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly moved down 5% to a 1.8. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show and SPT’s Seinfeld stayed at a 1.7 and 1.6, respectively. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother sagged 6% to a 1.5, while Twentieth’s King of the Hill climbed 8% to a 1.4.

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.