Syndication Ratings: 'Judge Judy' Stays Hot as Rest of Field Cools Off

With May sweeps in the rear view mirror and most shows in repeats, syndication was flat to down in the week ended June 8. Levels of people using television also fell by more than three million viewers.

The week's most notable gainer was CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Judy, marking its spot at the top of the syndication charts for the 39th week out of the past 42, and winning by its widest margin in four months, a full point ahead of CTD’s Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune. Judy scored a first-place 7.1 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, more than quadruple the rating of its nearest court-show rival. That’s up 1% from the prior week, and up 8% from last year at this time.

Meanwhile, none of the other court shows won favorable verdicts from Nielsen. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court tumbled 11% to a 1.7. Twentieth’s Judge Alex, nearing the end of its run, lost 7% to a 1.3, tying Twentieth’s Divorce Court, which dropped 13%, and Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis, which fell 7%. All three shows matched their season lows.

Trailing the field, MGM’s rookie, Paternity Court, sank 10% to a 0.9. Game shows also were shaky, and the race for top honors ended in a tie for the third time in the last four weeks as Jeopardy!, which knocked Wheel of Fortune out of the lead for the first time in nearly 10 years in the previous session, declined 5% to a 6.1 to tie Wheel, which was flat.

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was flat at a 4.7. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire had its worst week of the season, sinking 5% to a new season-low 1.8 and skidding 14% from last year at this time.

Back in daytime, CTD’s Dr. Phil was in control for the 41st time in the past 45 weeks, even though the show was in reruns on four of the five days. Philwas steady for the week at a 2.8, and climbed 12% from last year at this time. In second place, Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael dipped 4% to a 2.6, improving 4% from last year. Further back, Warner Bros.’ Ellen dropped to a new season low, eroding 12% to a 2.2, with a mixture of two original and three repeats during the week.

NBCUniversal’s Maury was in reruns all week and slipped 10% to a 1.8, while Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz rounded out the top five, steady at a 1.7.

NBCU’s Steve Harvey clocked a 1.6, up 7% from the prior week and up 14% from last year at this time. Disney-ABC’s Katie, which has been canceled, remained at a 1.4 to tie Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which returned to all originals and rose 17% for the week and year. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos and CTD’s Rachael Ray held steady at a 1.3 and 1.2, respectively. NBCU’s Jerry Springer dropped 8% to a 1.1.

CTD’s The Doctors remained at a 1.0, while NBCU’s soon-to-end Trisha was flat at a 0.5 and Meredith’s The Better Show was unchanged at a 0.2.

Among the new talk shows this season, SPT’s Queen Latifah was in reruns all week and slipped 9% to a 1.0. Warner Bros.’ Bethenny, which has been canceled, was flat at a 0.6. CTD’s The Test, which also will be departing, slumped 17% to a 0.5.

In late-night, encore telecasts of CTD’s Arsenio Hall, which has already ceased production, slipped 17% to a new season-low 0.5.

Magazines were steady to slightly lower. CTD’s leader Entertainment Tonight eased 3% from the prior frame to a 3.0. CTD’s Inside Edition sagged 4% to a 2.6. Warner Bros.’ TMZ was flat at a 1.8. NBCU’s Access Hollywood yielded 7% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ Extra held firm at a 1.3. CTD's The Insider was off 8% to a 1.2.

Further back, MGM’s RightThisMinute slumped 9% to a 1.0, tying Twentieth’s Dish Nation, which was flat at a 1.0. Trifecta’s recently canceled America Now along with its newcomer OK! TV both were unchanged at a 0.3.

The off-net sitcoms picked up a bit of steam. Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory inched ahead 2% to a 5.8. Twentieth’s freshman Modern Family also picked up 2% to a 4.1. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved up 3% to a 3.3. Twentieth’s Family Guy was unchanged at a 2.9. SPT’s Seinfeld strengthened 6% to a 1.9, tying Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother, which jumped 12%. Twentieth’s animated rookie, The Cleveland Show, was flat at a 1.8. Warner Bros.’ The Middle and Friends both were flat at a 1.6, tying Twentieth’s King of the Hill, which was up 7% to a 1.6.

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.