Syndication Ratings: 'Judge Judy' One of Few Strips to Avoid Summer Slump

Judge Judy was one of the few syndicated shows to improve in the week ended July 3, notching its biggest rating since the week of May 23 and growing 5% to a 6.8 to live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. In addition, Judy added 6% over last year at this time and finished second on the overall chart behind Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud.

On Sept. 15, CBS Television Distribution’s court leaderwill celebrate its 20th consecutive year both on the air and as court’s highest-rated program.

CTD’s Hot Bench, created by Judge Judy Sheindlin, was in reruns on four of the five days and slipped 4% to a 2.3, but grew 21% over last year, the most annual improvement of any syndicated strip. Hot Bench remained the fourth-ranked strip in daytime in households — behind Judy, Live and Dr. Phil — for the ninth straight week.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court declined 6% to a 1.7. Twentieth’s Judge Mathis sagged 7% to a 1.3. Divorce Court and Judge Faith both were flat at a 1.1 and 0.8, respectively.

No talk shows improved for the week.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly declined 4% to a 2.5 to tie CTD’s Dr. Phil, which was in repeats for the week, for first place. It was the fifth time in the seven weeks since Michael Strahan exited that Live has been at or tied for talk’s top spot. As in the previous frame, Live aired only taped, repackaged or repeat episodes all week. It also led among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54 at a steady 1.2. Phil was right behind, moving up 9% in the demo to a 1.1.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres remained mired at its season low 1.8 for a second consecutive week. NBCU’s Steve Harvey was flat at a 1.7. NBCU’s Maury sank 6% to a 1.5, tying Debmar-Mercury’s steady Wendy Williams. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos eroded 8% to a new season-low 1.2, tying Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, which remained at its all-time low for a third straight week, and CTD’s Rachael Ray, which stood pat.

NBCU’s JerrySpringer, CTD’s The Doctors and Warner Bros.’ The Real all were unchanged at a 1.1, 0.8 and 0.8, respectively, while the out-of-production Meredith Vieira lost 14% to a 0.6. Meredith Vieira also has been moved out of 2 p.m. time slots in top NBC owned markets, including New York, and the station group has launched 4 p.m. newscasts pushing back both Ellen and Steve Harvey to 3 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.

In the metered markets, the three-week test of The Preachers on nine Fox stations premiered July 11 and after two days averaged a 0.8 rating/3 share, down 11% from its average lead-in but up 14% from its year-ago time period average, marking the best performance of any of Fox’s summer tests thus far. The comparison shows in four of the nine markets were last summer’s test of Boris and Nicole, which failed to go to series. Among women 25-54, The Preachers lost 33% compared to last year.

SoMe also debuted on July 11, and averaged a 0.3/1 after its first two days. This trial, which is airing in six metered markets with double-runs in New York and Los Angeles, lost 25% from its lead-in and dropped 40% from its year-ago time period average. Among women 25-54, SoMe trended down 75% from last year’s time-period average. 

Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily, the only rookie that will return for another season, was in repeats all week but held steady at a 0.8. Disney-ABC’s FABLife and NBCU’s Crazy Talk both were flat at a 0.7 and 0.4, respectively.

In access, Family Feud outperformed all games for the tenth straight week and continued to lead all syndies, dipping just 1% to a 7.0. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune faded 2% to a 5.8. CTD’s Jeopardy! slipped 2% to a 5.6. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game and Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire both stayed at a 1.3, although Name Game was unchanged from last year while Millionaire devalued 19%.

Meanwhile, MGM’s viral video show RightThisMinute lost 9% to a 1.0, and faded 23% from last year.

CTD’s Inside Edition was flat at a 2.8 but led the category as CTD’s Entertainment Tonight eased 7% to a 2.7, after being preempted in several markets. Warner Bros.’ TMZ slid 6% to a 1.5. NBCU’s Access Hollywood sank 7% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ Extra eased 8% to a 1.2. CTD’s The Insider was unchanged at a 1.0. 

Twentieth’s Dish Nation popped 25% to a 1.0, breaking its three-week streak at a 0.8 and tying The Insider. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page, which replaced OK! TV in March, remained at a 0.3 for the 14th consecutive week.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory downticked 4% to lead the off-net sitcoms at a 4.8, while Twentieth’s Modern Family rebounded 12% from its series low to a 2.9. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved down 4% to a 2.4. Twentieth’s Family Guy was unchanged at a 2.1. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls gave back 5% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly increased 6% from its season low set in the previous week to a 1.8. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show stayed at a 1.7. SPT’s Seinfeld skidded 6% to a 1.6, tying Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother, which was unchanged. Twentieth’s King of the Hill was flat at a 1.4 for the fifth straight week. 

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for more than 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for The Global Entertainment Marketing Academy of Arts & Sciences (G.E.M.A.). 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.