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Syndication Ratings: 'Judge Judy,' 'Hot Bench' Bright Spots in Otherwise Slow Week

CBS Television Distribution's Judge Judy
CBS Television Distribution's "Judge Judy" (Image credit: CBS Television Distribution)

The one-two punch of CBS Television Distribution’s dynamic duo Judge Judy and Hot Bench led all daytime shows for the seventh straight week in the session ended July 26. 

While almost everything else in syndication fell to season or series lows amid seasonally tepid viewing levels and sporadic preemptions for news coverage, the court pair gained ground despite both shows being in repeats all week and both being bumped in various markets for news.

Judge Judy advanced 2% to a 5.7 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, matching its second-highest rating since May and even with its year-ago household rating. 

Hot Bench forged ahead 5% to nine-week high 2.1 in households, up 11% from last year at this time, ranking as daytime’s second highest-rated show.

The rest of court was steady with Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis, Fox’s Divorce Court and Debmar-Mercury’s Caught in Providence all holding at a 1.3, 0.8, 0.6 and a 0.5, respectively.

Among the new court shows, NBCU’s Judge Jerry, MGM/Orion’s Personal Injury Court and Trifecta’s Protection Court also all held at a 0.8, 0.4 and 0.2, respectively. 

CTD’s Dr. Phil led the talkers at a steady 1.8 for the sixth straight week. 

Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan stayed in second place with a 1.6 for the fourth consecutive week, but may see a boost from its emotional tribute to late co-host Regis Philbin which spiked metered market overnights for the show on July 27 by 44% from the prior Monday. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil and Live tied for the lead at a 0.7.

Related: 'Live' Pays Tribute to Regis Philbin

NBCU’s Maury remained at a 1.1 for the seventh straight week but moved ahead of Warner Bros.’ beleaguered Ellen for the first time since the week ended Aug. 21, 2016, when Ellen was retitled and broken out for NBC’s coverage of the Rio summer Olympics.

Ellen, meanwhile, slumped 9% to a new series-low 1.0, tying NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, which recovered 11%.

Related: Ellen DeGeneres Apologizes to Staff in Letter

CTD’s Rachael Ray remained at its series-low 0.8 for a second straight week, tying Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy WIlliams, which was flat at its season low for the ninth consecutive week. 

Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz stabilized at its series-low 0.6 for a second straight week. 

Warner Bros.’ The Real, CTD’s The Doctors and NBCU’s syndicated run of the out-of-production Jerry Springer all remained at their series lows of 0.4, 0.4 and 0.3, respectively, for an eighth straight week.

NBCU’s rookie talk leader Kelly Clarkson remained at a 0.9 despite being in repeats all week. Disney’s Tamron Hall, in repeats on four of the five days and frequently preempted in large markets, gave back 13% to a 0.7. SPT’s Mel Robbins, which is nearing the end of its run, stayed put at a 0.3 for the eighth week in a row. 

In access, the top three games all lost ground. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud fell 2% to a 5.7, tying Judge Judy for the syndication lead. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune slowed 4% to a 4.8. CTD’s Jeopardy! skidded 6% to a new season-low 4.7, despite airing classic content from its vault, including host Alex Trebek’s first episode. 

Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask remained at a 0.5 for the third straight week.

Fox’s 25 Words or Less repeated at a 1.0 to lead the rookie games, while SPT’s off-GSN America Says, which, like Mel Robbins, also is nearing the end of its run, sank 13% to a 0.7.

Disney’s internet video series Right This Minute remained at a series-low 0.7 for the ninth consecutive week.

CTD’s Inside Edition and sister show Entertainment Tonight continued to lead the magazines at a steady 2.5 and 2.4, respectively. NBCU’s Access Hollywood, which rose 20% over the prior two weeks, backtracked 8% to a 1.1. Warner Bros.’ TMZ sagged 10% to a 0.9, equalling its series low. Warner Bros.’ Extra and CTD’s DailyMailTV both stayed put at a 0.8. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page showed some spark, jumping 100% (or one tenth of a ratings point) to a 0.2 from a 0.1. 

NBCU’s off-network strip Dateline rebounded 22% to a 1.1, while its scripted procedural Chicago PD shot up 14% to a 0.8 after four straight weeks at its series-low 0.7.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory quieted down 4% to a 2.7, matching its series low but still leading the off-net sitcoms. Disney’s Last Man Standing and Modern Family each were unchanged at a 2.0 and 1.2, respectively. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men eroded 8% to a new series-low 1.1 tying SPT’s The Goldbergs, which also eased 8%. SPT’s Seinfeld stood firm at a 1.0 for a tenth straight week, tying Disney’s steady Family Guy. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly was minus 11% to a 0.8, tying Disney’s Black-ish and Warner Bros.’ Mom, both of which were steady.