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Syndication Ratings: 'Live' Stays Lively in Otherwise Low-Rated Week

The week ending July 6, which included the long July 4th weekend, was the toughest one of year so far for syndication.

The only show immune was Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael, which was the only daytime strip to gain ground for the week to finish first in talk for the fourth consecutive week. Live, which is enjoying its highest rated season in seven years, increased 4% from both the prior week and last year to a 2.6.

CBS Television Distribution’s season-to-date talk leader, Dr. Phil, was in reruns all week, and slipped 8% to a second-place 2.3, although the show still was up 5% from last year. After Phil, all the talkers finished below the 2.0 household ratings level.

Third place was a toss-up between NBCUniversal’s Maury and Warner Bros.’ Ellen, with both shows dropping 11% to new season low 1.7s in repeats. That marked Ellen’s fourth new season low in the past five weeks. SPT’s Dr. Oz rounded out the top five with a 1.5, dipping 6% in reruns. NBCU’s Steve Harvey also went into a full week of repeats, losing 18% to a 1.4 but still managing to be up 17% from last year at this time. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams was flat at a 1.4 with four original shows, tying Steve Harvey.

Disney-ABC’s Katie, wrapping its run, fell to its worst week ever. The show lost 8% for the week to a new series low 1.2 in mostly original episodes. Compared to the same week last year, Katie was down 29%, the most of any talk show.

NBCU’s Steve Wilkos also fell 8% to a 1.2, tying Katie and CTD’s Rachael Ray, which was flat. NBCU’s Jerry Springer declined 8% to a 1.1, with a week of mostly reruns. CTD’s The Doctors held steady at a 1.0. NBCU’s canceled Trisha tumbled 20% to a 0.4, while Meredith’s The Better Show continued to trail at a 0.2.

Among the season’s rookie talkers, SPT’s Queen Latifah, the only strip invited back for a sophomore season, was mostly in repeats and eased 10% to a new season-low 0.9. Warner Bros.’ Bethenny was flat at a 0.6 for the sixth week in a row. CTD’s The Test was marked down 17% to a 0.5, tying CTD’s Arsenio Hall, which was flat.

In court, CTD’s Judge Judy was firmly in command, despite being mostly in reruns. Judy’s 6.4 was down 9% from the prior week, but still up 7% from last year at this time and good enough to trump all syndicated shows for the 15th week in a row. Warner Bros.' People’s Court sank 5% to a 1.8. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis sank 7% to a 1.3, tying Twentieth’s Divorce Court, which also was down 7% to a 1.3 and Twentieth’s already canceled Judge Alex, which was flat. MGM’s rookie, Paternity Court, slumped 11% to a 0.8.

Among the games, CTD's Wheel of Fortune continued to slow, dropping to a new season low for the third time in the past four weeks, skidding 8% to a 5.6. CTD’s Jeopardy! slumped 7% to a 5.4. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud faded 12% to a 4.3, while Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire was flat at a fourth-place 2.0 for a fourth consecutive week.

The top entertainment magazines also took a breather after most gained in the prior session. CTD’s Entertainment Tonight yielded 10% to a 2.8. CTD’s Inside Edition sagged 4% to a 2.6. Warner Bros.’ TMZ slid 6% to a 1.7. NBCU’s Access Hollywood yielded 14% to a 1.2, tying Warner Bros.’ Extra, which was off 8%. CTD’s The Insider dropped 15% to a 1.1.

MGM’s RightThisMinute and Twentieth’s Dish Nation both were flat at a 1.0, where they both have languished for five and ten weeks, respectively. Trifecta's OK! TV was up 33% from a 0.3 to a new season-high 0.4, while its America Now has been unchanged for seven weeks in a row at a 0.3.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory led the off-net sitcoms at a 5.3, down 9% for the week. In second place, Twentieth’s rookie, Modern Family, faltered 8% to a new season-low 3.3. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men shrank 6% for the week and 27% for the year to a new season-low 3.0. Twentieth’s Family Guy weakened 11% to a new season-low 2.4. SPT’s Seinfeld slipped 5% to a 1.8. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show lost 11% to a new season-low 1.7, tying Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother, which dropped 6%. Warner Bros.’ Friends fell 6% to a 1.6. Warner Bros.’ The Middle lost 6% to a 1.5, tying Twentieth’s King of the Hill, which also dropped 6%.

Meanwhile, the Fox Television Stations’ six-week trial run of Hollywood Today Live averaged a 0.5 rating/2 share in the metered markets after two days on nine Fox stations, a decline of 50% from its average lead-ins and 29% from its July 2013 time period average. The Daily Helpline, also being tested over six weeks on nine Fox stations, barely registered, averaging a 0.1/0 two-day average, dropping 67% from its lead-in and 80% from year-ago time periods.

Paige Albiniak
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.