Syndication Ratings: 'Judge Judy' Jumps Back Into Overall Lead

CBS Television Distribution's Judge Judy
'Judge Judy' is going out on top as show gets close to wrapping its 25 years in first-run syndication. (Image credit: CBS Television Distribution)

Judge Judy regained the syndication lead in the session ending May 9, improving 8% to a 10-week high 5.5 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. 

With no preemptions to speak of across stations’ schedules, the daytime and early fringe courtroom climbed back into first place among all syndicated shows for the first time since the week ending Dec. 27, 2020. Prior to that, CMV’s Judge Judy led syndication in 15 out of 19 weeks including two ties with Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud. Judy is preparing to adjourn from first-run syndication after prevailing as the leading court show for 25 seasons. 

Since that week in December, high viewer interest in CBS Media Ventures’ Jeopardy!, beginning with the final shows featuring the late Alex Trebek and five of the six weeks with initial guest host Ken Jennings have given the long-running prime access game the syndication lead most weeks. Family Feud finished first in the majority of the weeks with CMV’s Wheel of Fortune scoring the lead once.

In second place in court, CMV’s Hot Bench held at a 1.6. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court climbed 13% to a 0.9. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis and NBCUniversal’s Judge Jerry each sprinted ahead 17% to a 0.7. Fox’s Divorce Court settled at a 0.6 for a second straight week. Repeats of Trifecta’s Protection Court retained a 0.2 for the ninth week in a row.

In access, Family Feud fell 4% to a 5.3 but still led the games for a third straight week. Jeopardy!, with journalist Bill Whitaker at the podium, rebounded 6% to a 5.2 after hitting an 18-week low with guest host CNN anchor Anderson Cooper in the previous frame.

CMV’s Wheel of Fortune forged ahead 4% to a 5.0 for third place among games.

Fox’s 25 Words or Less was quoted at a 0.8 for the fifth consecutive week. Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask responded with a 0.4 for the 10th time in 11 weeks. 

Disney’s internet video show RightThis Minute marked a series-low 0.6 for the seventh straight week.

CMV’s Dr. Phil broke a tie with Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan to take over talk’s top slot, spiking 6% to nine-week high 1.8. The two shows have tied at the top of the talkers four times in the past five weeks.

Live, which is the season-to-date talk leader, held steady at a 1.7. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Dr. Phil and Live tied for first at a 0.7.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, NBCU’s Maury and Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres, which will end after next season, were all flat and tied for third at a 0.9. NBCU’s sophomore Kelly Clarkson eased 11% to a 0.8.

Also Read: 'Ellen DeGeneres' to End After Next Season

Disney’s sophomore Tamron Hall gave back 13% to a 0.7, tying veterans NBCU’s Steve Wilkos and CMV’s Rachael Ray, both of which were unchanged.

Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, Warner Bros.’ The Real, CMV’s The Doctors and NBCU’s out-of-production syndicated run of Jerry Springer all were in line with the prior session at a 0.6, 0.4, 0.2 and 0.2, respectively. CMV’s rookie talker Drew Barrymore managed a 0.5 for a sixth straight week.

Also Read: 'Drew Barrymore' Officially Renewed for Season Two

Magazines were all steady to higher. CMV’s Inside Edition escalated 10% to lead the genre at a 2.3. CMV’s Entertainment Tonight tacked on 10% to a 2.2. NBCU’s Access Hollywood, Warner Bros.’ TMZ and Extra and CNV’s DailyMailTV all held steady at a 0.9, 0.8, 0.6 and 0.6, respectively. Fox’s Dish Nation preserved its 0.3 for the 36th straight week.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory continued to eclipse the off-network sitcoms, spinning a 4% increase to a 2.5. Disney’s Last Man Standing and Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men maintained a 1.7 and a 1.0, respectively. Disney’s Modern Family moved up 11% to a 1.0, tying Men. Disney’s Family Guy gained 13% to a 0.9, tying SPT’s The Goldbergs, which stayed put for the eighth straight week. SPT’s Seinfeld held at a 0.8 for a second session, tying Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls, which garnered a 0.8 for the third straight week. Finally, Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly remained at a 0.7 for the tenth consecutive week, tying Warner Bros.’ Mom, which moved up 17% to a 0.7 and aired its series finale on CBS on May 13.

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.