Syndication Ratings: 'Jennifer Hudson,' 'Sherri' Make Their Debuts

Jennifer Hudson and Sherri Shepherd are both starring in their own talk shows this fall.
Jennifer Hudson and Sherri Shepherd are both starring in their own talk shows this fall. (Image credit: Warner Bros./Debmar-Mercury)

New daytime stars Jennifer Hudson and Sherri Shepherd both premiered their new talk shows on Monday, tying at a 0.8 rating/4 share weighted metered market average for their primary runs, according to Nielsen. Warner Bros.' Jennifer Hudson came in 33% ahead of last year’s average performance, while Debmar-Mercury's Sherri equaled its year-ago time period average.

The two shows run back-to-back in seven of the top nine markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. In many Fox-owned markets, Jennifer Hudson took over the time slots of Debmar-Mercury’s concluded Nick Cannon, while Sherri stepped in for the Lionsgate-owned syndicator’s ended Wendy Williams. Shepherd was a frequent guest host for Williams as Williams sat out her show’s final year due to illness.

Most of syndication was flat to down in the session ending Sept. 4, thanks largely to early Labor Day weekend getaways and, to a lesser extent, college football preemptions on Fox.

NBCUniversal’s Kelly Clarkson was the only talker of the 14 nationally rated veterans to improve week to week, finishing 14% higher at a five-week high of 0.8 live plus same day national household rating. Most shows, including Clarkson, had not yet begun their new seasons.

Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan and CBS Media Ventures’ Dr. Phil remained tied at the top of the talkers for a second week at a 1.4. Live has now been first or tied for first with Dr. Phil for 15 straight weeks. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Live led with a 0.6. 

Warner Bros.’ departing Ellen DeGeneres, which aired its final new episode in May, maintained a 0.7. Disney’s Tamron Hall, which rolled out its fourth season September 6 with a month of episodes featuring gifts and giveaways, held its ground at a 0.6.

NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, CBS’ Rachael Ray and repeats of NBCU’s Maury stayed at a 0.6 to tie Tamron. The exiting Wendy Williams, CBS’ renewed Drew Barrymore and encores of NBCU’s Jerry Springer all were all on par with the prior week’s 0.5, 0.4 and 0.3, respectively.

Three concluding talkers –  Nick Cannon, Warner Bros.’ The Real and CBS’ The Doctors -- tied at a 0.2, with Cannon down 33% and Warner Bros’ The Real and CBS’ The Doctors steady for the 13 and 78th straight weeks, respectively. 

Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud, which was dinged by football on Fox, fizzled 6% to a 4.9 but still captured the category and syndication lead for a fifth consecutive week. CBS’ Wheel of Fortune remained flat at its season-low 4.1 for the fourth straight week. CBS’ Jeopardy dipped 5% to a 4.0 to fall to third place behind Wheel.  

Fox’s You Bet Your Life with host Jay Leno lost 13% to a 0.7, tying Fox’s 25 Words or Less, which stayed put for the tenth straight week. Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask attained a 0.4 for the ninth straight week. 

CBS’ magazine leader Inside Edition elicited a 2.0 for the third consecutive week, while sister show Entertainment Tonight spiked 6% to a 1.9. NBCU’s Access Hollywood regained its top three status with a 17% surge to a 0.7. Fox’s TMZ fell 14% to a 0.6. Warner Bros.’ Extra was one of the shows most heavily penalized by college football on Fox on September 1, getting hit with a 17% loss to a 0.5. CBS’ canceled DailyMailTV dropped 20% to a 0.4. Fox’s Dish Nation totaled a 0.2 for the 22nd straight week.

Disney’s internet video show RightThisMinute managed to stay at a 0.5 for the sixth consecutive week.

Evergreen episodes of CBS’ Judge Judy forged ahead 5% to a 4.4, making Judy syndication’s second-highest-rated show overall, behind Family Feud.

CBS’ Hot Bench, syndication’s second highest court, climbed 8% to a five-week-high 1.3. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was third, strengthening 17% to a 0.7. Fox’s Divorce Court, Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis, NBCU’s concluding Judge Jerry, and Wrigley Media’s Relative Justice were all steady at a 0.5, 0.5, 0.4 and 0.3, respectively.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory contracted 10% to a 1.8 but remained the off-network sitcom leader. Disney’s Last Man Standing slipped 9% to a 1.0. Sony’s The Goldbergs, Disney’s Family Guy and Modern Family, Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men and Young Sheldon and Sony’s Seinfeld all stalled at a 0.7, 0.7, 0.7, 0.7, 0.7 and a 0.6, respectively. Finally, Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly and Mom and Disney’s’ Black-ish all broke even at a 0.4 for the fourth straight week. ■

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.