Syndication Ratings: 'Judge Judy' Celebrates 900 Weeks at Number One

CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Judy celebrated the holiday by hitting a milestone 900 straight weeks as the top court show in the week ended Dec. 22. Meanwhile, most of syndication was lower heading into Christmas and New Year’s.

Judge Judy scored a 7.1 live plus same day household ratings average for the week, according to Nielsen Media Research, off 5% from the prior week but still up 6% from last year at this time. Judy led all of syndication for the 18th week in a row, including ties, and had a higher rating than the next four court shows combined.

In second place, Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Twentieth’s Divorce Court both were flat at a 1.7. Twentieth’s Judge Alex weakened 6% to a 1.6, tying Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis, which was unchanged. MGM’s rookie Paternity Court was flat at a 0.9.

Most of the talk shows were in repeats and flat or lower in the pre-holiday week. Of the 17 daytime talkers, the only shows to improve were NBCU’s Jerry Springer, which gained 8% to a 1.3, and NBCU’s Trisha, which grew 20% — or one-tenth of a ratings point — to a 0.6. Both shows also hit series highs.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen ended up in first place for the first time this season, although it sank 6% from the prior week to a 3.0. CTD’s Dr. Phil, the season-to-date talk leader, fell 15% to a 2.8, tying Disney/ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael, which dipped 10%. NBCU’s Maury, in third place, was flat at a 2.1. SPT’s Dr. Oz, which tends to get a New Year’s bump due to its emphasis on health, dropped 10% to a 1.9 in the week before Christmas.

NBCU’s Steve Harvey was flat at a 1.8, but improved 29% from last year, the most of any talker. Disney/ABC’s Katie, which will end its two-year run after this season, was unchanged at a 1.7. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos and CTD’s Rachael Ray held steady at a 1.4. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams softened 7% for the week to a 1.3. CTD’s The Doctors declined 15% to a 1.1, while much further back, Meredith’s The Better Show was unchanged at a 0.2.

Among the newcomers, SPT’s Queen Latifah slipped 9% to a 1.0. Warner Bros.’ Bethenny eased 11% to a 0.8 in households, but tied Latifah in women 25-54 at a 0.6. Further back, CTD’s The Test was flat at a 0.6, while in late night CTD’s Arsenio Hall was steady at a 0.7.

Elsewhere, none of the access shows were up.

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune skidded 5% from the prior week to a 7.0. CTD’s Jeopardy! lost 4% to a 6.4. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud fell 2% to a 5.2. Disney/ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire held steady at 2.1.

Among the magazines, CTD’s leader Entertainment Tonight eased 8% from the prior session to a 3.6. In second place, CTD’s Inside Edition dipped 3% to a 3.0. Warner Bros.’ TMZ and NBCU’s Access Hollywood each were unchanged at a 1.9 and 1.8, respectively. Warner Bros.' Extra gave back 6% from its season high to a 1.6. Extra and Access Hollywood were the only shows to improve year to year, growing 7% and 6%, respectively. CTD’s omg! Insider — which returned to its former name, The Insider, on Monday, Jan. 6 —yielded 7% from the prior week to a 1.4.

MGM’s RightThis Minute was flat at a 1.1. Twentieth’s sophomore Dish Nation, renewed for a third season, faded 10% to a 0.9. Trifecta’s America Now and rookie OK! TV were both unchanged at a 0.3 and 0.2, respectively.

In off-net syndication, Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory continued to lead, recovering 2% from the prior week to a 6.4. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men remained at a 3.9. Twentieth’s Family Guy advanced 11% to a 3.1. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother stayed at a 2.1. SPT’s Seinfeld spiked 6% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.’ Friends was flat at a 1.8 and Twentieth’s King of the Hill declined 6% to a 1.7.

Among the rookie sitcoms, Twentieth’s Modern Family climbed 9% from the prior week to a 5.1, matching its series high in syndication. Twentieth’s animated The Cleveland Show added 5% to a 2.1. Warner Bros.’ The Middle was flat at a 1.4, while SPT’s Community, which returned to NBC in primetime on Jan. 2, was steady at a 0.4 in households and jumped 50% among adults 18-49 and adults 18-34.

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.