Syndication Ratings: 'Judy' Bounces 'Jeopardy!' as James Holzhauer Remained on Hiatus

CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Judy grabbed syndication’s top spot in the week ended May 19, presiding over CTD’s Jeopardy!, which hit a 14-year ratings high with super-contestant James Holzhauer in the week ended May 5 but has fallen back to typical ratings levels with a previously scheduled two-week teachers’ tournament.

Before that hiatus, the professional gambler from Las Vegas had won $1.7 million in a second-best-ever streak of 22 consecutive games through May 3. In the week ended May 5, Jeopardy! hit an 8.3 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, its highest household ratings since 2005.

But without Holzhauer, Jeopardy! was no match for season-to-date leader Judy.

Judy, which has finished first in the household ratings 42 times in the past 45 weeks with four ties, added 1% to a first-place 7.1 in households. Jeopardy!, meanwhile, inched up 2% to a 6.2 and broke a tie for the category lead with Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud, which fell 2% to a 6.0.

Holzhauer returned May 20 and by May 28 had won his 29th straight game, pushing his total winnings to slightly more than $2.25 million. He appears to be well on his way to breaking the all-time cash-winning record in regular game play set by Ken Jennings in 2004.

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune, which is paired with Jeopardy! in most large markets, took third place and slipped 7% to a seven-week low 5.7. Disney’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire, which will end its 17-year run after this season, broke even at a 1.6 for the fourth straight week. Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask was unchanged at a 0.5 for the tenth consecutive week.

Related: 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' to Conclude After This Season

Following Judge Judy, CTD’s Hot Bench held steady at a 2.3 and for the third week in a row ranked as daytime’s third-highest ranked show behind only Judy and Phil.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis both were stable at a 1.4 and 1.0, respectively, while Twentieth’s DivorceCourt advanced 14% to a 0.8.

Disney’s viral video show RightThisMinute, which is renewed for next season, slowed 8% to a 1.2.

Elsewhere in access, several magazines were buoyed by tributes to the late Doris Day, the box-office sweetheart of the ‘50s and ‘60s and Carol Burnett Show star and legendary comedian Tim Conway.

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight topped the category with a 4% rise to a six-week high 2.9. CTD’s Inside Edition also climbed 4% to a second-place 2.8. NBCU’s Access held its ground at a 1.2, tying Warner Bros.’ TMZ, which eased 8%. Warner Bros.’ Extra, which was the only magazine to improve in the prior session, gave back 9% to a 1.0, tying CTD’s recently renewed DailyMailTV, which delivered an 11% increase to a 1.0.

Related: Billy Bush to Host Rebranded 'Extra Extra'

Twentieth’s canceled Page Six TV and Trifecta’s Celebrity Page remained at a 0.6 and 0.2, respectively.

In daytime, CTD’s Dr. Phil was the only talker to improve, growing 4% to a 2.8 and leading the talkers for nearly three years or 141 weeks in a row with five ties. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil again led with a 1.2.

Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan took second for the 12th straight week despite a 5% drop to a 2.1. Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres, which has been renewed for three more seasons, was unchanged at a 2.0 for a third straight week.

Related: 'Ellen DeGeneres' Renewed Through 2021-22 Season

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams slid 7% to a 1.4. NBCU’s Maury, Steve and Steve Wilkos, as well as CTD’s Rachael Ray, Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz and Warner Bros.’ The Real all remained at a 1.3, 1.2, 1.1, 1.0, 1.0, and 0.7, respectively.

Further back, CTD’s The Doctors deteriorated 17% to a 0.5, matching its series low.

Disney’s Pickler & Ben, produced by E. W. Scripps, and repeats of NBCU’s Jerry Springer both were flat at a 0.4, making it 17 straight weeks at that level for Pickler & Ben, and 36 straight weeks — or the entire season — for the out-of-production Springer.

Among the rookies, CTD’s Face the Truth, which will wrap after this season, faced a 0.7 for a fifth straight week, while Debmar-Mercury’s renewed court show, Caught in Providence, was consistent at a 0.5.

NBCU’s Dateline led the true-crime shows with an 8% gain to a 1.3. SPT’s off-A&E Live PD Police Patrol was penalized 10% to a 0.9, while off-investigation Discovery’s True Crime Files uncovered an unchanged 0.3.

NBCU’s off-network scripted crime strip, Chicago PD, backtracked 10% to a 0.9.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory, which ended its 12-year primetime run on CBS on May 16, was off 2% to a 4.2. Twentieth’s Last Man Standing stumbled 5% to a new season-low 1.9. Twentieth’s Modern Family fell 6% to a 1.7. SPT’s The Goldbergs and Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men both maintained a 1.4. Twentieth’s Family Guy gained 8% to a 1.3. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly and Disney’s Black-ish were unchanged at a 1.1. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls stayed at a 1.0 for the 17th consecutive week, again tying SPT’s Seinfeld.

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.