Syndication Ratings: In an Otherwise Down Week, 'Judge Judy' Rises

In the week ended Jan. 22 that was characterized by preemptions for political events, CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Judy stood out. 

Judy managed to climb 4% to a season-high 7.7 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, to lead all of syndication for the 21st time in the past 25 weeks, including one tie.

The rest of the courts were flat or down. CTD’s Hot Bench fell back 4% to a 2.5, after hitting a new season high in the prior week. That put Hot Bench in a three-way tie in daytime with Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court dropped 11% for the week to a 1.6. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis, Twentieth’s Divorce Court and Trifecta’s Judge Faith all were unchanged at a 1.4, 1.1, and 0.8, respectively. 

The week included President Barack Obama’s final press conference on Wednesday, Jan. 18, and the inauguration of President Donald Trump on Friday, Jan. 20, resulting in lots of preemptions.

CTD’s Dr. Phil was one of very few talkers to not break out episodes from its weekly average after massive preemptions for President Obama’s final press conference on Jan. 18, and President Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.

As a result, Phil gave back 19% to a 3.0 but remained the talk leader for the 20th consecutive week. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil was again first with a 1.4.

Live with Kelly and Ellen remained tied at a 2.5 for the third week in a row. In fourth place, NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey — which next season will move to Los Angeles, change production companies, and relaunch as a new celebrity-focused talk show was unchanged at a 1.7 but down 26% from last year at this time, the largest year-to-year decline of any talker in the top ten. 

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams perked up 7% to a 1.6, tying NBCU’s Maury, which was flat. NBCU’s Jerry Springer recovered 17% to a 1.4, after falling to a season low in the prior week, tying CTD’s Rachael Ray, which was flat for the week but down 18% from last year, and Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, which improved 8% for the week to a new season high but was still down 13% from last year.

NBCU’s Steve Wilkos was flat at a 1.3. NBCU’s newcomer Harry gave back 8% to a 1.1, after being very heavily preempted by Obama’s farewell press conference.

Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily With Chris Hansen, CTD’s The Doctors and Warner Bros.’ TheReal all held steady for the week at a 1.0, 0.9 and 0.8, respectively. 

Most of the games declined for the week. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud slipped 3% to a 7.1 but led the game shows for a 39th straight week. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune slid 7% to a 6.6. CTD’s Jeopardy! lost 9% to a 6.2. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire refunded 6% to a 1.7. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game, which will end its run after this season, was the only game to hold steady, remaining at a 1.3.

Elsewhere, Disney-ABC’s viral video show RightThisMinute was unchanged for the week at a 1.5.

Likewise, the access magazines also all were flat to down. CTD’s Entertainment Tonight eased 8% to a 3.3. CTD’s Inside Edition, Warner Bros.’ TMZ and NBCU’s Access Hollywood all were steady at a 3.2, 1.7 and 1.5, respectively. Warner Bros.’ Extra gave back 7% to a 1.3. CTD’s The Insider, Twentieth’s Dish Nation and Trifecta’s Celebrity Page all held steady at a 1.2, 0.8 and 0.3.

Warner Bros.’ off-net sitcom leader The Big Bang Theory inched up 2% to a 5.9. Twentieth’s Modern Family and Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men remained at a 3.1 and 2.7, respectively. Twentieth’s Family Guy grew 11% to a 2.1. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly stayed at a 2.0. Twentieth’s rookie Last Man Standing recovered 6% to land at a 1.9. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls stood pat at a 1.8. SPT’s Seinfeld strengthened 8% to a 1.3. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother dropped 20% to a 1.2 to match its series low, tying Warner Bros.’ The Middle, which was unchanged,  as well as Twentieth’s King of the Hill and The Cleveland Show, both of which were up 9%. 

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.