Syndication Ratings: No Fireworks for Sitcoms Over Fourth of July

There were very few ratings fireworks among syndicated shows in the traditionally low viewing Fourth of July holiday session ending July 7.

Making matters more difficult, some shows were in competition with or bounced out of their time slots by the popular FIFA Women’s World Cup semi finals, which aired on Fox July 2 and on cable July 3.

Arguably having the toughest time were the sitcoms. Warner Bros.' leader The Big Bang Theory hit the worst weekly numbers in its 8-year run in syndication, cooling down 10% from its prior orbit to a new series low 3.6 live plus same day national rating, according to Nielsen. Twentieth's Last Man Standing slumped 5% to a 2.1. Twentieth's Modern Family fell 6% to a new all time low 1.6. Sony Pictures Television's The Goldbergs remained at its series low 1.3 for a third straight week. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men moved down 14% to a 1.2, matching its series low and tying Twentieth's Family Guy, which stayed at its season low 1.2. Disney's rookie black-ish broke even at a 1.1. SPT's Seinfeld avoided shrinkage, staying at a 1.0. And Warner Bros.' Mike & Molly tumbled 10% to a 0.9, tying Warner Bros.' 2 Broke Girls, which was unchanged at a 0.9.

Related: NBCU Looks to Lock Down Lockup in Syndication

Elsewhere in off-net syndication, true crime paid for NBCUniversal's leader Dateline, which witnessed its strip shooting up 9% to a 1.2 and its category-topping weekly version surging 29% to a 3.1. SPT's off-A&E Live PD: Police Patrol was on par with its prior tour at a 1.1, while off Investigation Discovery's True Crime Files uncovered a flat 0.3. The sole scripted hour-long strip in syndication, NBCU's off-net police procedural newcomer Chicago PD, gave back 11% to a 0.8. 

In first run, the survey said Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud led for a fourth consecutive week, although it sagged 7% to a 5.7. CTD's Jeopardy!, which has been without super contestant and major draw James Holzhauer since June 3, lost ground for the fifth week in a row, sliding 9% to a new season low 5.1 but still came in second among the game shows. CTD's Wheel of Fortune skidded 10% to a new season low 4.7. Further back, Disney's canceled Who Wants to Be a Millionaire went into the red, shedding 7% to a new season low 1.4 and Entertainment StudiosFunny You Should Ask didn’t question a 0.5 for the 17th week in a row. 

Related: Holzhauer, Boettcher Returning to 'Jeopardy!' With Tournament of Champions

Meanwhile, Disney's viral video show RightThisMinute downticked 8% to a 1.1.

Magazines were also mostly lower. CTD's Inside Edition surrendered 11% to a new season low 2.4, finishing just ahead of sister show Entertainment Tonight, which eased 8% to a 2.3. Warner Bros.' TMZ was flat at a 1.1. NBCU's Access relinquished 9% to a 1.0. Warner Bros.' Extra backtracked 11% to a new season low 0.8, tying CTD's DailyMailTV, which aired repackaged shows all week and also yielded 11% to a 0.8. 

Twentieth's Page Six TV held its ground at a 0.5 and Trifecta's Celebrity Page deteriorated 33% from a 0.3 to a 0.2. 

Turning to daytime, which bore the brunt of the soccer preemptions, CTD's Judge Judy, presiding over the household ratings season to date, continued to dominate the court show category an historic 1,189th week in a row despite being partly in reruns and dipping 5% to a 5.6. CTD's Hot Bench, in repeats for most of the week, stood fast at a 2.0 and ranked as the No. 3 show in daytime behind only Judy and CTD's talk topper Dr. Phil.

Related: Greg Meidel Joins Judge Judy Sheindlin's Queen Bee Productions

Warner Bros.' People’s Court recovered 8% to a 1.3. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis maintained a 0.9 for a third straight appearance, while Twentieth's Divorce Court settled for an unchanged 0.6. 

In talk show action, Dr. Phil had the right medicine to lead the genre for the 148th straight week with five ties, even though it was in repeats on all five days and backed off 4% to a new season low 2.2. Among women 25-54, the Phil reruns were again first in talk with a 0.9 in the key demo. 

Returning to households, Disney's on-hiatus Live With Kelly and Ryan, which did not air live at all, took second place honors in talk for the 19th consecutive week with two pre-taped and three repackaged shows, holding steady at a 1.9. Warner Bros.' Ellen DeGeneres, with encore episodes, stumbled 19% to a new season low 1.3. NBCU's Maury remained mired at its season low 1.2 for a fifth week in a row. NBCU's Steve slipped 10% to a new series low 0.9, tying NBCU's Steve Wilkos, CTD's Rachael Ray, and the retitled repeats of Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams, renamed Wendy Williams World Cup, which were all flat at a 0.9. SPT's Dr. Oz hemorrhaged 11% to a 0.8, matching its series low. The diagnosis for CTD's The Doctors was also a series low, in this case 0.5 for an eighth straight week. Warner Bros.' The Real ratcheted down 20% to a new series low 0.4, tying Disney's Pickler & Ben, which bagged a 0.4 for the 24th consecutive week and NBCU's out-of-production Jerry Springer, which stagnated at a 0.4 for the 43rd week in a row. 

Among the freshman, CTD's canceled Face the Truth was faced with a season low 0.6 for a fourth straight week. While Debmar-Mercury's renewed rookie court show Caught in Providence captured a 0.5, which was consistent with its previous case.

In addition, the July 15 premiere of the six week test run for comedy game show Punchline got socked with a 33% decline from its lead-ins to a 0.4 rating/1 share weighted metered market average on select Fox stations, although it was flat compared to its year-ago time periods. 

Jessika Walsten

Jessika is content engagement director of Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV. She has been with the brands in various roles since 2013. In her current role, she works primarily behind the screen, keeping an eye on the website and fixing any site bugs. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects for NextTV, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.