Syndication Ratings: Off-Net Sitcoms Struggle Against World Series

Despite World Series games airing in access in some markets in the week ended Oct. 27, first-run syndicated shows mostly held up although off-network sitcoms took a big hit.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory, which stopped including ratings from its TBS run this season, sank 13% to a series-low 2.7, a 33% decline from last year. Disney’s Last Man Standing slipped 5% to a 1.9, down a relatively minor 10% year to year. Disney’s ModernFamily, which has been in syndication for seven years, sagged 7% for the week and 30% for the year to a new series-low 1.4.

The rest of the top 10 off-net sitcoms remained flat to down and at or near previous series lows. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men, Sony Pictures Television’s The Goldbergs, Disney’s Family Guy, SPT’s Seinfeld, Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly and Warner Bros.’ Mom all were unchanged at a 1.3, 1.2, 1.1, 0.9, 0.9 and 0.9, respectively. Disney’s Black-ish pulled back 11% to a 0.8, tying Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls, which stayed at a 0.8 for the eighth straight week.

It was a different story, however, for first-run shows in access. CBS Television Distribution’s Entertainment Tonight jumped 8% to a new season-high 2.8, that show’s best performance since the week ending May 19. That tied ET with its unchanged sister show, Inside Edition, for the category lead.

NBCU’s Access Hollywood remained at its season-high 1.5 for a second straight week. Warner Bros.’ TMZ eased 9% to a 1.0. Warner Bros.’ Extra, which was just renewed for three years along with TMZ and TMZ Live on Fox stations, was preempted more than 30 times in the top 21 markets by the World Series and Thursday Night Football, both of which air on Fox. As a result, Extra gave back 20% to a 0.8.

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CTD’s DailyMailTV was steady at a 0.8, tying Extra. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page stayed at a 0.2 for the 17th straight week.

CTD’s Jeopardy! remained the game leader for the third straight week, inching up 2% to a season-high 6.0. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune rolled into second place, motoring ahead 2% to a new season-high 5.8. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud faded 2% to a third-place 5.7.

Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask was unchanged at a 0.5 for a fifth straight week.

Disney’s internet video show RightThisMinute stayed at its series-low 0.8 for a seventh straight week.

In daytime, most shows were flat to down, due in part to news preemptions in California for fire coverage.

CTD’s Dr. Phil, however, added 9% to a new season-high 2.5, its best rating since the week ending May 26. That gave Phil first place in talk for the 164th straight week with five ties.

Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Dr. Phil also led with a 1.0.

Back in households, Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan held steady at a 2.0 and was the second-highest talker for the 35th consecutive week, including one tie.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres dropped 5% to a 1.8. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, NBCU’s Maury, CTD’s Rachael Ray and NBCU’s Steve Wilkos all were flat at a 1.3, 1.1, 1.0 and 0.9, respectively. SPT’s Dr. Oz perked up 13% to a 0.9, tying Wilkos.

Warner Bros.’ The Real, which Fox also just renewed in a two-year deal, and CTD’s TheDoctors operated at an unchanged 0.6 and 0.5, respectively.

NBCU’s out-of-production syndicated run of Jerry Springer sprang ahead 33% to a 0.4.

CTD’s Judge Judy was the top court show for the 1,205th straight week, improving 2% to a three-week high 6.4 to lead all of syndication in households for the 13th week in a row.

CTD’s Hot Bench backed off 2% to a 2.0 but still tied Live as the third-highest rated daytime strip behind only Judy and Dr. Phil.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court, which Fox renewed for three more years on WNYW New York, climbed 8% to a 1.3, while Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis and Twentieth’s Divorce Court each stood pat at a 0.9 and 0.7, respectively. Debmar-Mercury’s sophomore court show Caught in Providence posted a 0.5 for the fifth straight week.

The rookies were mostly steady. NBCU’s The Kelly Clarkson Show and Disney’s Tamron Hall both held steady at a 1.4 and 1.0, respectively in their seventh week on the air. Clarkson ranks fourth among the veteran talkers, while Hall held at its season-high 1.0 for a fourth straight week. Further back, SPT’s Mel Robbins remained at a 0.4 in week six.

NBCU’s Judge Jerry also held at a 0.9 in households, but jumped 25% among women 25-54 to a 0.5. MGM/Orion’s Personal Injury Court and Trifecta’s Protection Court both were flat at a 0.5 and 0.3, respectively

Fox’s new game show, 25 Words or Less, which is hosted and executive produced by Meredith Vieira, was unchanged at a 0.9 in its sixth week on the air, while SPT’s off-GSN America Says also was steady at a 0.6.

Fox's five-week test run of Debmar-Mercury's Central Ave debuted Monday at a 0.8 rating/2 share in eight metered markets, down 27% from its average lead-in and down 20% from its year-ago time period average. Among women 25-54, Central Ave averaged a 0.7/3, off 22% from its lead-in but even with year-ago time periods.  

On the crime beat, NBCU’s Dateline dropped 17% to a new season-low 1.0 to tie SPT’s off-A&E Live PD Police Patrol, which was stable. NBCU’s scripted procedural Chicago PD remained at its series-low 0.7 for the fourth straight week. 

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.