Syndication Ratings: 'Judge Judy' Premieres Season 22 Far in Front

Several veterans opened their seasons during the week ended Sept. 17 to ratings gains.

CBS Television Distribution’s syndication leader,Judge Judy, launched its 22nd season with a 7.1 live plus same day household rating average, according to Nielsen Media Research, up 9% from the prior week and the show’s strongest rating since the week of Feb. 22. Judy also inched up 1% from last year’s season premiere and scored its widest margin of victory over the rest of the syndicated playing field since the week of Sept. 8, 2014.

CTD’s Hot Bench started season four with a 5% increase to a 2.3, even with last year’s premiere. Hot Bench was daytime’s third-highest rated show behind Judy and CTD’s talk leader Dr. Phil for the 13th straight week, including one tie.

Among the rest of the court shows, Warner Bros.’ People’s Court added 6% to a 1.7, while its Judge Mathis was unchanged at a 1.2. Twentieth’s Divorce Court was flat at a 0.9 for the seventh straight week. Trifecta’s Judge Faith, in repeats and looking for a new production company, fell 13% to a 0.7.

Dr. Phil led the talkers for the 54th straight week with its season 16 premiere at a 3.3, up 10% from the prior frame and the show’s strongest rating since the week of May 22. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil also led at a 1.4.

Disney-ABC’s Live With Kelly and Ryan, which was preempted in New York on Monday, Sept. 11 for9/11 Memorial coverage, dipped 5% to a 2.1 to tie Warner Bros.’ Ellen for second place, which was unchanged for the week.

NBCU’s Maury, entering season 20, climbed 7% to a 1.5. NBCU’s Steve rounded out the top-five talkers, holding steady for the week at a 1.3 after debuting a new iteration of the talk show starring Steve Harvey on Sept. 5.

NBCU’s Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos, CTD’s Rachael Ray, Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz and Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams all were unchanged at a 1.2, 1.2, 1.1, 1.0 and 1.0, respectively.

Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen opened its third season at a 1.0, tying Wendy and improving 11% for both the week and the year.

NBCU’s Harry, CTD’s The Doctors and Warner Bros.’ The Real all remained at a 0.9, 0.8 and 0.7, respectively.

In access, the nationally-rated magazine field dropped to six as CTD’s The Insider ended and Twentieth decided to stop buying Nielsen ratings for Dish Nation.

CTD’s leader Entertainment Tonight grew 3% to a 3.0, that show’s highest rating since the week of May 1. CTD’s Inside Edition — which got big upgrades in several large markets, moving into time periods vacated by The Insider — rose 7% to a 2.9. Warner Bros.’ TMZ, NBCU’s Access Hollywood and Warner Bros.’ Extra all held steady at a 1.4, 1.3 and 1.1, respectively. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page dropped 33% fro a 0.3 to a new series-low 0.2.

Elsewhere in access, Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud led the games for a 73rd straight week, gaining 2% to a 6.1. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! tied for second at a 5.5, with Wheel inching up 2% and Jeopardy! rebounding 8% from the prior week.

Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire broke even at a 1.6. Debmar-Mercury’s almost-gone Celebrity Name Game gave back 33% to a new series-low 0.6.

Disney-ABC’s RightThisMinute added 15% to a 1.5.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory led the off-net sitcoms even though it slipped 4% to a 4.5. Twentieth’s Modern Family faded 7% to a 2.5. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men sank 14% to a new series-low 1.9 as Tribune debuted The Goldbergs in many markets.

Twentieth’s Family Guy retreated 6% to a 1.7. Twentieth’s Last Man Standing skidded 6% to a 1.5 at the start of its sophomore syndie season. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly tumbled 13% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls and Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show stood pat at a 1.3 and 1.2, respectively. SPT’s Seinfeld suffered shrinkage of 8% to a 1.1, tying Twentieth’s King of the Hill, which climbed 10%.

Further down the list, SPT’s rookie The Goldbergs debuted at a 0.9 in its preview week. CTD’s The Game, which aired on The CW and then BET, got underway at a 0.4. Next week, Warner Bros.’ Mom makes its syndicated premiere.

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.