Syndication Ratings: 'Judge Judy' Jumps While Most Shows Stay Earthbound

CBS Television Distribution’s court leader, Judge Judy, climbed to a syndication leading 7.0 in households in the week ended April 29, which included the first two days of the May sweep period. The May sweep runs April 26 - May 23.

That was Judy’s highest score since the week ended April 1, with increases of 6% from the prior week and 4% from the prior year.

Other than Judy, very few first-run programs showed gains and many faced preemptions against news coverage of the Bill Cosby trial in Pennsylvania and Fox’s coverage of the NFL draft.

The only other court show to gain for the week or the year was CTD’s Hot Bench, which added 5% by both measures to a 2.3 to rank as the No. 3 show in daytime behind only Judy and CTD’s talk leader Dr. Phil.

The remainder of the court shows were unchanged with Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis, Twentieth’s Divorce Court and Trifecta’s Judge Faith all flat at a 1.5, 1.1, 0.9 and 0.6, respectively.

Elsewhere in daytime, only two of the 14 veteran talkers — Dr. Phil and Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams — managed to improve as the survey period got underway. Dr. Phil climbed 3% to a three-week-high 3.2 and led the category for an 86th straight week with two ties.

Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil was first in talk with a 1.3 in the key demo, while Disney-ABC’s Live With Kelly and Ryan, Warner Bros.’ The Ellen DeGeneres Show and NBCUniversal’s Maury all tied for second place in the demo at a 0.9.

Back in households, Live and Ellen tied for second place for a second straight week with both shows dipping 5% to a 2.1, while Maury remained at a 1.4 for the eighth consecutive week.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams recovered 8% to a 1.3. NBCUniversal’s Steve, starring Steve Harvey, slipped 8% to a 1.2. CTD’s Rachael Ray and NBCU’s conflict talkers Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos all were unchanged at a 1.1, 1.1 and 1.0, respectively. Wilkos also is down 29% compared to last year at this time, the largest annual decline of any talker.

Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz fell back 9% to a 1.0, equalling its series low to tie Wilkos. Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily With Chris Hansen was steady at a 0.9. CTD’s The Doctors dropped 13% to a 0.7, matching its season low and tying Warner Bros.’ The Real and NBCU’s canceled Harry, both of which stayed put.

Among the first-run rookies, CTD’s DailyMailTV was certified flat at a 1.0 with a 0.5 in the demo. Even facing preemptions in top markets for NFL draft coverage, Twentieth’s Page Six TV held steady at a 0.7 in households and a 0.4 in the demo in week seven of new-host tryouts.

Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask was unchanged at a 0.4 in households and a 0.2 in the demo. Disney-ABC’s Pickler and Ben, produced by E. W. Scripps, stayed at a 0.3 in households with a 0.2 among women 25-54.

Magazines were mixed. CTD’s InsideEdition edged ahead 3% to a 3.1, breaking a tie with sister show Entertainment Tonight, which held steady at a 3.0.

Warner Bros.’ TMZ fell 14% for the week and 20% from last year at this time to a 1.2. NBCU’s Access eased 8% to a new season-low 1.1, tying Warner Bros.’ Extra, which also held steady.

Trifecta’s Celebrity Page remained at a 0.2.

All of the games were flat to down. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud stayed at a 6.5. CTD’s Jeopardy! slumped 5% to a 5.9. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune faded 5% to a 5.8, while further back, Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire broke even with an unchanged 1.6 for the fifth straight week.

Disney-ABC’s RightThisMinute sagged 7% to a new season low 1.3, tying NBCU’s off-net true-crime strip, Dateline, which was flat.

Warner Bros.’ off-net leader The Big Bang Theory lost 2% for the week to a 4.5. Twentieth’s Modern Family leveled off at its series-low 2.0 for a third straight week, a decline of 20% from last year. Twentieth’s Last Man Standing, which may be resurrected on Fox, stood pat at a 1.7. SPT’s rookie The Goldbergs and Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men both remained at a 1.6. Twentieth’s Family Guy gained 7% to a 1.5. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly and Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls were unchanged at a 1.4 and 1.2, respectively. SPT’s Seinfeld suffered shrinkage of 9% to a 1.0, tying Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show, which stayed at its series low for a third straight week.

Among the off-net rookies, Warner Bros.’ Mom was stable at a 0.9 for a third consecutive week, while CTD’s The Game continued to play at an unchanged 0.4 for the 12th time in 13 weeks.

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.