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Syndication Ratings: Jennifer Hudson, Sherri Shepherd Spend First Week in Dead Heat

Jennifer Hudson and Sherri Shepherd are both starring in their own talk shows this fall.
Jennifer Hudson and Sherri Shepherd both debuted their new shows on Monday, September 12. (Image credit: Warner Bros./Debmar-Mercury)

Jennifer Hudson and Sherri Shepherd both debuted their new talk shows on Sept. 12 and the two programs, both of which launched on Fox stations in top markets, are running neck and neck.

Warner Bros.’ Jennifer Hudson hit a 0.7 rating/3 share primary run weighted metered market average, according to Nielsen, improving over its year-ago time periods by 17%. JHud’s best top-10 market performance came on WCVB Boston at 3 p.m., where it won the time period with a 1.4/7 and turned in a 27% improvement over Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres, the show it replaced in the time slot.

Debmar-Mercury’s Sherri, meanwhile, registered a 0.7/4 in its premiere week, on par with its September 2021 time periods, largely filled by Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams in top markets. Sherri’s strongest top-10 market showing came on WAGA Atlanta at 11 a.m., where its 1.8/10 beat last year’s Wendy Williams in the time period by 13%.

Fox First Run’s new game show Pictionary, starring Jerry O’Connell, premiered September 12 with a first-week 0.3/1 primary run weighted metered market average, up 50% from its July 2022 time periods. On WNYW New York at 1 p.m., the show averaged a 0.4/2 and outperformed the time slot’s most-recent occupant, Sony Pictures Television’s canceled The Good Dish, by 33%.

In the national household ratings, the traditionally quiet holiday session that began with Labor Day ended September 11 was a strong one for the top two talk shows.

Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan and CBS Media Ventures’s Dr. Phil remained deadlocked in first place for a third straight week. Live rose 7% to a three-week high 1.5 live-plus-same-day national household rating, according to Nielsen. At the same time, Dr. Phil strengthened 7% to a seven-week high.

Live has now been first or tied for first in talk for 16 weeks in a row, including eight dead heats with Dr. Phil. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Live and Phil were also tied at a 0.5.

Disney’s Tamron Hall spiked 17% to a third-place 0.7 with its fourth-season premiere, tying reruns of NBCUniversal’s Maury, which also added 17%, and repeats of NBCU’s Kelly Clarkson, which receded 14%. Kelly Clarkson premiered its fourth season — in upgraded time slots in many markets across the country — on Monday, Sept. 12, national ratings for which will come in next week. 

NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, CBS’ Rachael Ray, the final week of Wendy Williams, and CBS’ Drew Barrymore all held their ground at a 0.6, 0.6, 0.5 and 0.4, respectively.

NBCU’s Jerry Springer combo, which consists of Springer talk and court encores, opened at a 0.4, matching repeats of Drew Barrymore. The finale of Debmar-Mercury’s canceled Nick Cannon climbed 50% to a 0.3. ■

‘Feud’ Still Tops the Charts

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud inched up 2% to lead the game shows and all of syndication for the sixth-straight week. CBS’s Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy and Fox’s You Bet Your Life with host Jay Leno and 25 Words or Less were all in line with the prior week’s 4.1, 4.0, 0.7 and 0.7, respectively. Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask slumped 25% to a 0.3.

Fox’s TMZ and Warner Bros.’s Extra were the only magazines to improve. TMZ strengthened 17% to a 0.7, tying a steady Access Hollywood for third place. Warner Bros.’ Extra originated in London for part of the week, covering the death of Queen Elizabeth II and surged 20% to a 0.6. 

CBS’s magazine leaders Inside Edition and Entertainment Tonight, CBS’s departing DailyMailTV and Fox’s Dish Nation all held steady at a 2.0, 1.9, 0.4 and 0.2, respectively. 

Evergreen episodes of CBS’s Judge Judy dipped 5% to a 4.2 to lead the courts and finish second in overall syndication. CBS’ Hot Bench gave back 8%  to a 1.2. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was consistent at a 0.7 for a second straight week. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis motored ahead 20% to a 0.6, breaking a tie with Fox’s Divorce Court, which declined 20% to a 0.4. Wrigley Media’s Relative Justice remained at 0.3 for the seventh straight week. 

Warner Bros.’s The Big Bang Theory led the off-network sitcoms, expanding by 6% to a 1.9. Disney’s Last Man Standing, Family Guy and Modern Family; Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men and Young Sheldon; and Sony’s The Goldbergs and Seinfeld all stayed at a 1.0, 0.7, 0.7, 0.7, 0.7, 0.6 and 0.6, respectively. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly and Mom and Disney’s Black-ish all broke even at a 0.4 for the fifth consecutive week. ▪️

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.