Syndication Ratings: 'Judge Judy' Takes Gold in First Full Rio Olympics Week

The first full week of the Rio Olympics caused massive preemptions for shows cleared on NBC affiliates and much stronger than usual competition for everything else in the session ending Aug. 14.

CBS Television Distribution's Judge Judy took the gold medal for being the highest rated strip in syndication with a 6.1 live plus same day national Nielsen rating despite going up against the games with five days of reruns. Judy was the only show on the entire chart to exceed a 6 rating and was the top legal program by more than four points even with a 6% decline from the prior week.

Among the other court shows, CTD's Hot Bench was the No. 2 gaveler, easing 9% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.' People’s Court lost 6% to a new season low 1.5, while the studio's Judge Mathis was flat at a 1.3. Twentieth's Divorce Court dropped 9% to a 1.0 and Trifecta's Judge Faith fell 13% to a 0.7.

Among the game shows, Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud retreated 8% to a 5.9 but outperformed the category for the 16th straight week and landed in second place on the overall chart behind Judge Judy. CTD's Wheel of Fortune was off 4% to a 5.2. CTD's Jeopardy! sank 6% to a new season low 4.9. Debmar-Mercury's Celebrity Name Game gave back 15% to a 1.1, tying Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which devalued 8% to a 1.1 and slumped 35% from last year. The most of any game show. Meanwhile, viral video show MGM's RightThisMinute was unchanged at a 1.0.

On the magazine rack, CTD's Entertainment Tonight improved 8% to a first place 2.8. CTD's Inside Edition skidded 4% to a new season low 2.4. NBCUniversal's Access Hollywood moved into third place ahead of Warner Bros.' TMZ with a nifty 29% increase to a 1.8. This was apparently fueled by airing on big market NBC stations and leading into either the Olympics or the Olympic zone special coverage.  On the other hand, the rating was down 33% compared to how it performed in week one of the 2012 London games. TMZ sagged 7% to a fourth place 1.3.

CTD's The Insider downticked 10% to a 0.9. Twentieth's Dish Nation was flat at a 0.8 and Trifecta's Celebrity Page posted its usual 0.3 for the 20th week in a row.

Warner Bros.' Extra was one of several shows retitled as Olympic specials and broken out of the ratings in anticipation of extremely low coverage levels during the two-week worldwide event. Others in this group included Disney-ABC's Live With Kelly, Warner Bros.' Ellen DeGeneres, NBCU's Steve Harvey and Sony Pictures Television's Dr. Oz.

CTD's Dr. Phil, which like many strips was in repeats all week going up against the Olympics, finished first among the normally titled talk shows, even though it slipped 17% to a 2.0.

Phil also attracted the most total viewers among all talkers averaging 2,689,000 each day for the frame. NBCU's Maury recovered 7% to a 1.5 household rating after sinking to a new series low in the prior session.

CTD's Rachael Ray, although not retitled, was one of the talkers broken out all week by Nielsen due to significantly lower than normal coverage. Also being excluded by the ratings service for the same reason were CTD's The Doctors, NBCU’s out-of-production and canceled Meredith Vieira and Disney-ABC's departing newcomer FABLife. NBCU's Steve Wilkos remained at a 1.2. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams and NBCU's Jerry Springer both stood pat at a 1.1 and at the back of the chat pack Warner Bros.' The Real rebounded 17% to a 0.7 after hitting an all-time low the week before.

Warner Bros.' Crime Watch Daily, the sole success story among this year’s rookie crop, eased 13% to a 0.7 with previously aired material all week but convincingly led the freshman for the 48th consecutive frame. Already canceled newcomer NBCU's Crazy Talk was flat at a 0.4. 

Among the off-net sitcoms, leader Warner Bros.' The Big Bang Theory cooled off 16% to a new season low 4.2. Twentieth's Modern Family faded 12% to a new series low 2.3 and for the first time landed in a tie with Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men, which moved down 4% to a 2.3. Twentieth's Family Guy shrank 10% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.' Mike & Molly stayed at a 1.8. Warner Bros.' 2 Broke Girls eroded 11% to a new season low 1.7. SPT's Seinfeld slid 6% to a 1.5, tying Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother, which was unchanged at a 1.5. Twentieth's The Cleveland Show skidded 7% to a 1.4 and Twentieth's King of the Hill declined 13% to a 1.3.

Jessika Walsten

Jessika is an analyst for TVREV and Fabric Media. She previously served in various roles at Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV, working with the brands since 2013. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects in the media and entertainment space, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.