Syndication Ratings: 'Jeopardy!' Beats 'Wheel' for Second Time This Summer

Jeopardy! defeated typical game leader Wheel of Fortune for the second time this summer in the week ended Aug. 3.

CBS Television Distribution’s Jeopardy!, normally the second-highest rated game, squeaked ahead of Wheel with a 4% jump to a 5.8 live plus same day household ratings average, according to Nielsen Media Research, one-tenth of a ratings point ahead of CTD’s Wheel, which skidded 3% for the week to a 5.7. Compared to last year at this time, Jeopardy! was up 5% while Wheel, which has dropped to new season lows three times in the past eight weeks, was down 3%.

Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud was flat at a 4.5 and Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire, finishing out its run with Cedric the Entertainer as host, remained at a last-place 2.0, slipping 13% from the same week one year ago, the biggest annual loss of any game show.

Only one talk show gained ground for the week among the top 12, namely NBCUniversal’s Steve Wilkos, which advanced 8% from the prior week and year to a 1.3.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael took top talk honors for the seventh time in the past eight weeks with a 2.6, down 4% for the week but up 4% from last year at this time. Overall, Live turned in its best July in households in six years.

CTD’s Dr. Phil was in repeats for most of the week and trailed Live by a tenth of a ratings point, holding steady at a 2.5.

NBCU’s Maury, which had the biggest increase among the top 15 last week, held on to its gains, breaking a tie with Warner Bros.’ Ellen to take sole possession of third place with a steady 1.9. Ellen fell to fourth, eroding 11% to a 1.7. Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz gave back 12% to a 1.5 in mostly repeats. NBCU’s Steve Harvey, in repeats all week, was flat at a 1.4.

Disney-ABC’s Katie, with three original episodes including an all-star farewell to the show on July 30, sagged 7% to a 1.3, tying Wilkos.

CTD’s Rachael Ray receded 8% to a 1.2, in mostly reruns for the week. That tied NBCU’s Jerry Springer, which also was flat, and Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which weakened 14%. CTD’s The Doctors held steady at a 1.0. NBCU’s Trisha, which is going away, rebounded 25% to a 0.5. Meredith’s The Better Show was flat at a 0.2, where it has held for 33 of the past 34 weeks.

Among the rookies, SPT’s Queen Latifah, prepping for season two, held steady at a 0.9 while in repeats for most of the week. CTD’s The Test had an up week, recovering 20% to a 0.6. Warner Bros.’ Bethenny was flat at its season low 0.5, remaining tied with CTD’s out-of-production Arsenio Hall.

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight led the magazines for the 940th consecutive session, despite being off 6% from the prior week to a 2.9. CTD’s Inside Edition faded 4% to a 2.6, matching its season low. Warner Bros.’ TMZ perked up 6% to a 1.8. Warner Bros.’ Extra had the largest increase of any magazine, spiking 8% to a 1.3 and tying NBCU’s Access Hollywood, which backtracked 7%. CTD’s The Insider rounded out the top six, holding steady at a 1.2.

MGM’s RightThisMinute was flat at a 1.1. Twentieth’s Dish Nation was flat at a 1.0 for the 13th time in the past 14 weeks. Trifecta’s OK! TV remained at a 0.3, tying Trifecta’s no-longer-produced America Now, which held at a 0.3 for the 11th consecutive week.

CTD’s Judge Judy in reruns all week, dominated the court shows, none of which grew from the prior frame. Judy notched a 6.5, down 6% for the week but still up 5% for the year. Judy also was the top show in syndication for the 19th week in a row.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court lost 6% to a 1.7. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis slumped 7% to a 1.3. Twentieth’s Divorce Court plunged 14% to a new season-low 1.2, tying Twentieth’s cancelled Judge Alex, which dropped 8%. MGM’s newcomer Paternity Court trailed with an unchanged 1.0.

Among the off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.’ leader The Big Bang Theory made some noise, climbing 6% from the prior week to a 5.7. Twentieth’s freshman Modern Family faded 6% to a 3.4. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men inched up 3% to a 3.3. Twentieth’s Family Guy, SPT’s Seinfeld, and Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show all were flat at a 2.9, 2.0 and 1.9 respectively. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother tumbled 10% to a 1.8. Warner Bros.’ Friends, Twentieth’s King of the Hill and Warner Bros.’ The Middle all were unchanged at a 1.7, 1.6 and 1.6, respectively.

Three hopefuls are getting summer tryouts on mostly Fox-owned stations. Laughs, a weekend comedy show, clocked a 0.4 rating/1 share after two weeks, down 50% from its lead-in and 33% from its year-ago time period average. Hollywood Today Live, after four weeks, also reported a 0.4/1, losing 50% of its lead-in and declining 42% from its year-ago time periods. Finally, the four-week average for The Daily Helpline remained a 0.1/0, down 66% from its lead-in and 75% from its year-ago time period average.

Paige Albiniak

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.