Syndication Ratings: 'Judge Judy' Hits High Mark Early in Season

Talk and court shows extended their ratings rallies in the week ended Sept. 23, with shows continuing to premiere episodes as the new TV season gets underway.

CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Judy became the first show of the season to break the 7.0 ratings barrier, hitting a 17-week high 7.1 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. That’s up 3% from the prior week to lead all of syndication for the eighth straight week.

Most access shows, including the entertainment magazines, were unable to build on their gains from the prior week, even though it included the 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.

In the talk show race, CTD’s Dr. Phil scored its 107th consecutive victory with two ties, growing 7% to a 15-week high 3.0. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil also led with a 1.3.

Back in households, Warner Bros.’ The Ellen DeGeneres Show advanced 5% to a 2.1, tying Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Ryan, which held steady. Among women 25-54, Live earned a 0.9, beating Ellen’s 0.8.

NBCU’s Maury moved up 8% to a 1.4. Rounding out the top five, NBCU’s Steve, starring Steve Harvey, spiked 8% to a 17-week high 1.3.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, NBCU’s Steve Wilkos and CTD’s Rachael Ray all remained at a 1.2, 1.1 and 1.0, respectively. Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz kicked off season 10 with an unchanged 1.0, which tied Ray but was down 9% from last year.

Warner Bros.’ The Real rose 17% to a 0.7. CTD’s The Doctors stayed at a 0.5, while the out-of-production JerrySpringer, which now airs on The CW in the afternoon as well as on some stations, remained at a 0.4. (Springer’s rating does not include airings on The CW, only stations where the show still airs in syndication.)

After 12 weeks having its ratings reprocessed by Nielsen, Disney-ABC’s Pickler & Ben, produced by E. W. Scripps, was finally back on the chart at a 0.4, tying Springer.

Meanwhile, the second week of CTD’s new panel talker Face the Truth staring Vivica A. Fox was on par with its 0.8 debut.

National ratings for Debmar-Mercury’s rookie court room Caught in Providence, which debuted Sept. 24, will not be available for another week, however, the show’s premiere week averaged a 0.3 rating/1 share in the metered markets, down 25% from its lead-in and off 40% from its year-ago time-period averages. Among women 25-54, the show pulled a 0.1/1, even with its lead-in but down 67% from its Sept. 2017 time period.

Among the veteran courts, following Judge Judy, CTD’s Hot Bench climbed 5% to a 14-week high 2.2, which made it daytime’s third-ranked show behind only Judy and Phil. Judge Judy and Hot Bench were the only two court shows to show gains.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis and Twentieth’s Divorce Court all were flat at a 1.4, 1.0 and 0.8, respectively.

Turning to the game shows, Debmar-Mercury’s leader Family Feud inched up 2% to a 6.1. CTD’s Jeopardy! slipped 2% to a 5.6. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune slowed 4% to a 5.5. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire and Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask each broke even at a 1.6 and 0.5, respectively.

Disney-ABC’s viral video show RightThisMinute lost 8% and clocked a 1.2.

In true crime, NBCU’s off-net strip Dateline improved 17% to an 18-week high 1.4, while SPT’s off-A&E Live PD: Police Patrol began its run at a 1.0, and the off-Investigation Discovery True Crime Files stayed at a 0.3 in its second outing.

None of the top-seven magazines improved on the week, thanks in part to preemptions for Thursday Night Football on Fox. CTD’s Inside Edition slid 6% to 2.9 and finished just ahead of stablemate Entertainment Tonight, which gave back 3% to a 2.8.

Warner Bros.’ TMZ fell 8% to a 1.2, tying NBCU’s Access, which held steady. Warner Bros.’ Extra was in line with the prior week’s 1.1. CTD’s DailyMailTV maintained its 1.0 with its second season premiere, and improved 11% from its September 2017 premiere. Twentieth’s Page Six TV was unchanged at a 0.7 for its second-season opener. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page grew 50% to a 0.3 from a 0.2.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory stayed at a 4.3 to lead the off-net sitcoms. Twentieth’s LastMan Standing jumped 5% to a 2.1, tying Twentieth’s Modern Family, which strengthened 11% to a 2.1. SPT’s The Goldbergs remained at a 1.4, tying Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men, which motored ahead 8%. Twentieth’s Family Guy was unchanged at a 1.2. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly moved down 8% to a 1.1. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls remained at a 1.0, tying the premiere week of Disney-ABC’s Black-ish. SPT’s Seinfeld shrank 10% to a 0.9, tying Warner Bros.’ Mom, which was stable at a 0.9 for the 11th straight 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.