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Syndication Ratings: 'Judge Judy' Wraps Season on Top

Although the Nielsen syndication season doesn’t officially end until Aug. 26, the verdict is already in: the 2017-18 household ratings champion is CBS Television Distribution’s venerable Judge Judy.

As of the week ending Aug. 12, Judy has opened a mathematically insurmountable lead, averaging a season-to-date 6.9 live plus same day household average, well ahead of anything else in syndication. That score marks the show’s second-largest season-to-date household average in the past four years, the fifth straight year that Judy has been syndication’s top show in households and the ninth straight season that it’s been first-run's top program.

In the week ending Aug. 12, Judy was entirely in repeats but still topped the weekly chart at a steady 6.4, improving 3% from last year at this time.

CTD’s Hot Bench, created by Judge Judy Sheindlin, was mostly in repeats and unchanged at a 2.1, ranking as the third-highest ranked show in daytime behind Judy and CTD’s Dr. Phil.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court climbed 7% to a 1.5, while its Judge Mathis stayed at a 1.0. Twentieth’s Divorce Court rebounded 14% to a 0.8. Trifecta’s out-of-production Judge Faith fell 17% to a 0.5, matching its series low.

Dr. Phil, which has now led the field for 101 consecutive weeks with two ties, was not surprisingly the full-season talk leader at a 3.2 season-to-date household average. The show also has been the most-watched talk show every year since CTD’s The Oprah Winfrey Show ended in 2011.

In the session ended Aug. 12, Phil remained at a 2.7, despite being in repeats all week. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil also led with a 1.1.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Ryan held steady in households at a 2.0 and rose 13% to a 0.9 to take second place in both households and the key demo. Warner Bros.’ The Ellen DeGeneres Show declined 6% in households to a 1.5. NBCU’s talkers Maury, mostly in repeats, and Steve, completely in repeats, both were unchanged at a 1.3 and 1.1, respectively. NBCU’s conflict talker Jerry Springer, which is out of production, recovered 10% to a 1.1, while fellow conflict strip Steve Wilkos tied CTD’s Rachael Ray and SPT’s Dr. Oz, all at a flat 1.0.

Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen, which is nearing the end of its run, strengthened 13% to a 0.9 and was the only program in the genre to outperform last year, improving 13%.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, with production still on summer hiatus, weakened 11% to a new season-low 0.8. CTD’s The Doctors remained stable at a 0.7 for the fifth straight week. Warner Bros.’ The Real regained 20% to a 0.6 and NBCU’s soon-to-end Harry tumbled 17% to a 0.5.

Among the newcomers, CTD’s DailyMailTV was flat at a 0.9 in households and at a 0.5 among women 25-54. Twentieth’s Page Six TV also was flat at a 0.6 in households and a 0.3 in the demo. Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask was flat at a 0.5 and 0.2 in the demo. For the seventh straight week, ratings for Disney-ABC’s Pickler & Ben, produced by E. W. Scripps, were reprocessed and not available.

Week two of a trial run for the Meredith Vieira-hosted game show 25 Words or Less on Fox stations in nine metered markets scored a 0.6 rating/2 share in the week ended Aug. 19. This was down 14% from its lead-in but even with year-ago time periods. Among women 25-54, the show averaged a 0.3/2 and fell 25% from both lead-in and year-ago.

Also in its second week of a test run on Fox stations in eight metered markets, off-Snapchat dating series Phone Swap recorded a 0.5/2, down 17% from its lead in and off 25% from its year-ago time-period average. The show also called in a 0.3/2 in the key demo, on par with its lead-in and down 25% from last year.

Back in the national ratings, game shows were mixed. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was the highest-rated game of the 2017-18 season with a 6.5 household season-to-date average. Feud also led the category for the week ended Aug. 12, despite dipping 2% to a 6.2.

CTD’s Jeopardy! was even with the prior week at a 5.4. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune faded 2% to a 5.3. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire increased 7% to a 1.6.

Disney-ABC’s viral video show RightThisMinute was unchanged at a 1.4. NBCU’s off-net true-crime strip Dateline remained at a 1.3.

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight and Inside Edition ended the season tied for the win among magazines, with both shows averaging a 3.0 in households. For the week, Inside Edition was steady at a 2.8, while Entertainment Tonight also held at a 2.6.

Warner Bros.’ TMZ dropped 8% to a 1.1. NBCU’s Access eased 9% to a 1.0, tying Warner Bros.’ steady Extra. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page popped up 50% from a 0.2 to a 0.3.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory averaged a first-place 4.8 season-to-date household average to lead the off-net sitcoms, but dipped 2% for the week to a 4.0, matching its season low. Twentieth’s Last Man Standing skidded 9% to a 2.1 Twentieth’s Modern Family remained at its series-low 1.9. SPT’s newcomer The Goldbergs was unchanged at a 1.6 for a fifth straight session. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men remained at a 1.5. Twentieth’s Family Guy gave back 7% to a 1.4. Warner Bros. Mike & Molly moved up 8% to a 1.3 while Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls, Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother and SPT’s Seinfeld all stayed at a 1.1, 1.0 and 1.0, respectively.

Warner Bros.’ rookie Mom remained at a 0.9 for a fifth straight week, while CTD’s newcomer The Game played at a 0.4 for the sixth consecutive contest.