Syndication Ratings: 'Judge Judy' Again Rules November

CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Judy, in its 23rd season, ruled syndication in the 2018 November sweep, which ran Oct. 25 to Nov. 21, with a 7.4 live plus same day national household average, according to Nielsen Media Research, up 1% from last year.

That marks the show’s strongest November sweep number since 2015 and the tenth time in the past 11 major sweeps that Judy has led all of syndication in households.

That bucked the overall trend, with most shows declining compared to last year after facing many news and sports preemptions during the ratings period.

CTD’s Hot Bench averaged a 2.4, dipping 4% from the prior November, but ranked as the sweep’s number-three show in daytime, behind only Judy and CTD’s Dr. Phil.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court slipped 12% to a 1.5 household sweep average. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis skidded 17% to a 1.0 and Twentieth’s Divorce Court dropped 22% to a 0.7.

Not one of the top 12 talk shows improved from last year’s November sweeps.

Dr. Phil gave back 19% from last November when the show hit its highest sweep rating in 11 years to a 3.0 sweep average in households, but still led the talkers for the seventh straight November and the 21st consecutive major sweep. Phil also led among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54 with a 1.3.

The battle for second place came down to the sweep’s final days with Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres declining 4% to a 2.3 but holding off Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Ryan, which relinquished 8% from last November to a 2.2. The two shows tied for second in the key demo at a 1.1.

NBCU’s Maury moved down 7% to a 1.4. NBCU’s Steve and Debmar-Mercury’s WendyWilliams both eased 7% to a 1.3. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos was unchanged at a 1.2. CTD’s Rachael Ray retreated 15% to a 1.1, tying Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, which lost 8%. Warner Bros.’ The Real regressed 13% to a 0.7. CTD’s The Doctors devalued 25% to a 0.6.

NBCU’s Jerry Springer, which is no longer in production and airs in repeats on The CW and in syndication in some local markets, sank 67% compared to last year to a 0.4, tying Disney-ABC’s sophomore Pickler & Ben. The E.W. Scripps-produced talk show improved 33% from last November due ti additional clearances.

CTD’s new panel talker Face the Truth and Debmar-Mercury’s off-YouTube judge series Caught in Providence averaged a 0.8 and a 0.6 in households respectively in their first November outing.

In access, the game shows produced no winners. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud led the category, although it fell 3% compared to last November to a 6.3. CTD’s Jeopardy! also sagged 3% to a 6.2, while CTD’s Wheel of Fortune faded 2% to a 6.1.

Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire and Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask both broke even compared to last November at a 1.6 and 0.5, respectively.

Disney-ABC’s viral video show RightThisMinute decreased 20% to a 1.2.

CTD’s Inside Edition inched up 3% to win the sweep with a 3.1 in households, beating out sister show CTD’s Entertainment Tonight, which dipped 3% to a 3.0.

NBCU’s Access and Warner Bros.’ TMZ tied for third with both shows backing off 14% to a 1.2.

Warner Bros.’ Extra eased 8% to a 1.1. CTD’s DailyMailTV held steady in its sophomore season at a 1.0. Twentieth’s Page Six TV was plagued by preemptions on Fox and fell back 13% to a 0.7. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page softened 33% to a 0.2.

NBCU’s off-net true-crime strip Dateline held steady at a 1.4 in its sophomore season and ended the sweep with a 23% surge in the survey’s final week to a new season-high 1.6.

SPT’s off-A&E Live PD Police Patrol and off-off-investigation Discovery’s True Crime Files averaged a 1.1 and a 0.3 in their first November sweeps.

NBCU’s off-net scripted police procedural Chicago PD mustered a 0.9 in its initial November, climbing 13% from its September debut.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory led the off-net sitcoms, even though it dropped 8% to a 4.7 November sweep average in households in its eighth season. Twentieth’s Last Man Standing, which returned to Fox in primetime this year, jumped 31% to a 2.1 in its third year in syndication. Twentieth’s Modern Family faded 20% to a 2.0 in season six. SPT’s sophomore The Goldbergs weakened 11% to a 1.6. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men slumped 33% to a 1.4 in its 12th year in syndication. Twentieth’s Family Guy slid 19% to a 1.3 in year 12. Disney-ABC’s rookie Black-ish cleared its first November with a 1.2. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly moved back 27% to a 1.1 in year five. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls tumbled 17% to a 1.0 in its fourth season. SPT’s Seinfeld shrank 18% to a 0.9 in its 24th year, tying Warner Bros.’ sophomore Mom, which held steady November to November.

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.