Syndication Ratings: Only Sitcoms See Gains in Season's Final Week

The top-tier off-network sitcoms were the only genre that saw increases in the weekend ended Aug. 26, which also marked the end of the 2017-18 TV season. Otherwise, almost nothing else improved as regularly scheduled TV programming was bumped by news and sports preemptions and levels of people using television plummeted.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory led the sitcoms with a steady 4.1 live plus same day national household rating. In second place, Twentieth’s sophomore Last Man Standing jumped 5% to a 2.1. Twentieth’s Modern Family strengthened 6% and came off a series low to a 1.9. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved ahead 7% to a 1.5, tying Twentieth’s Family Guy, which also grew 7%. Sony Pictures Television’s freshman TheGoldbergs was the outlier of the group as the only comedy in the top 12 to decline, falling 7% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ Mike &Molly and 2 Broke Girls, Sony Pictures Television’s Seinfeld, Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother and The Cleveland Show and Warner Bros.’ rookie Mom all were unchanged at a 1.2, 1.1, 1.0, 0.9, 0.9 and 0.9, respectively. 

Further back, CBS Television Distribution’s freshman The Game lost 25% — or one-tenth of a ratings point — dropping to a 0.3.

Meanwhile in first run, daytime shows all were down or flat.

CTD’s Dr. Phil, which aired encore episodes all week, finished first for the 103rd straight week, with two ties, despite slipping 4% to a new season-low 2.5. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil led with a 1.1.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Ryan dipped 5% to a 1.9, but remained in sole possession of second place in talk for the tenth straight week.

Warner Bros.’ The Ellen DeGeneres Show stayed at its season-low 1.5 for a third consecutive week. NBCUniversal’s Maury and Steve Wilkos both were unchanged at a 1.3 and 1.1, respectively. NBCU’s Steve, starring Steve Harvey, slipped 9% to a new season-low 1.0, with a full week of repeats, tying NBCU’s Jerry Springer, which slid 9%, and CTD’s Rachael Ray, which was flat.

SPT’s Dr. Oz stayed at its series-low 0.9. Likewise, Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen, Debmar-Mercury’s WendyWilliams and CTD’s The Doctors all were stable at a 0.8, 0.8 and 0.7, respectively.

NBCU’s Harry, which is now concluded, skidded 17% to a 0.5, tying Warner Bros.’ The Real, which was steady.

Among the first-run newcomers, CTD’s Daily Mail TV aired reruns all week and eased 11% to a new season-low 0.8, but remained at a 0.4 among women 25-54. Twentieth’s Page Six TV, which ran only repackaged episodes, held steady at a 0.6 in households and stayed at a 0.4 in the demo, tying DailyMail.

Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask held at a 0.5 in households and a 0.2 in the key demo. For the ninth straight week, ratings for Disney-ABC’s Pickler & Ben, produced by E.W. Scripps, were reprocessed and not available.

CTD’s household ratings champion, Judge Judy, dipped 2% to a 6.5 but still led all first-run and off-net programs. CTD’s Hot Bench, which was mostly in repeats, dipped 5% to a 2.0, but ranked as daytime’s number-three show behind only Judy and Phil for the fourth straight week.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis, Twentieth’s Divorce Court and Trifecta’s JudgeFaith, which is no longer in production, all were flat at a 1.4, 1.0, 0.7 and 0.5, respectively.

In access, some shows were penalized by preemptions for pre-season football and Major League Baseball. Magazines were mixed after getting boosts in the prior week from coverage of the life and death of Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin.

CTD’s Inside Edition dropped 4% to a 2.7. Sister show Entertainment Tonight also gave back 4% to a 2.6. Warner Bros.’ TMZ perked up 9% to a 1.2. NBCU’s Access retreated 9% to a 1.0, tying Warner Bros.’ Extra, which held steady. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page tumbled 33% from a 0.3 to a 0.2.

Elsewhere in access, games were sluggish. Debmar-Mercury’s leader Family Feud was flat at a 6.1. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune slowed 2% to a new season-low 5.2, tying CTD’s Jeopardy!, which remained at its season-low 5.2. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire saw its portfolio lose 6% to a 1.5.

Meanwhile, Disney-ABC’s viral video show RightThisMinute sagged 8% to a new season-low 1.2 and NBCU’s off-net true crime strip Dateline relinquished 8% to a 1.1. 

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for more than 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for The Global Entertainment Marketing Academy of Arts & Sciences (G.E.M.A.). 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.