Syndication Ratings: Preemptions Push Shows to Season, Series Lows

The eventful week ending June 18 was tough on syndies, most of which fell to or hovered at series or season lows.

The week included attorney general Jeff Sessions’ Senate testimony on June 13, the shooting at a Congressional baseball practice in Virginia on June 14, both of which sent viewers to cable news. Syndies also were preempted in favor of coverage of the U.S. Open golf tournament on June 15 and 16.

Two shows fell to series lows. Warner Bros.’ TMZ, which launched in 2007, sank 15% from the prior week to a series-low 1.1 live plus same day rating in households, according to Nielsen Media Research, down 21% from last year at this time. CBS Television Distribution’s RachaelRay, which debuted in 2006, eroded 9% to a series-low 1.0, down 17% from last year.

Atop the magazines, CTD’s Entertainment Tonight managed to avoid the downturn, holding steady at a 2.7. CTD’s Inside Edition faded 4% for the week and 11% from last year to a new season-low 2.4. NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood remained at its season-low 1.2 for a third straight week. Warner Bros.’ Extra held steady at a 1.1 despite several large market preemptions, tying TMZ. CTD’s The Insider, the sole magazine to improve in the prior session, gave back 10% to a 0.9.

Twentieth’s Dish Nation remained at its series low 0.6 for a second straight week, down 25% from last year. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page logged its usual 0.3 for the 24th week in a row.

The top-three game shows all dropped to their lowest levels of the season. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud faded 8% to a new season-low 5.9. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune fell 4% to a season- low 5.2. CTD’s Jeopardy! also shrank 4% to a season-low 5.1.

Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire stood pat at its previous season-low 1.5 for a third straight week. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game, which will go off the air after this season, remained at its season-low 1.1 for the fifth straight week.

Disney-ABC’s viral video show RightThisMinute was flat at a 1.3,

In daytime, CTD’s Dr. Phil was in reruns all week and dipped 4% to a new season low 2.6 but remained the lead talk show for the 41st consecutive week. Phil was the only talker in the top five to stay ahead of last season, gaining 4%.  Among women 25-54, Phil also led with a 1.0 in daytime’s key demo.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Ryan was steady at a 2.1 in households, although the show fell back 22% from last year when Kelly Ripa was joined by various celebrity co-hosts as the program sought a replacement for Michael Strahan.

In repeats, Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres skidded 15% for the week and 23% from last year to a new season-low 1.7. NBCU’s Maury was unchanged at a 1.5. NBCU’s Steve Harvey, rebranding next season to Steve and moving to Los Angeles, added 8% to a 1.4 but was still down 18% compared to last year. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams remained at a 1.3, tying NBCU’s conflict talker Jerry Springer, which rose 8%. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos was flat at a 1.2.

Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz dropped 9% for the week and 17% from last year to a 1.0, matching its series low first set two weeks earlier and tying Rachael Ray.

Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen aired a full week of repeats but held steady at a 0.9 for the week and grew 13% in households from last year. NBCU’s freshman Harry, also in reruns, was flat at a 0.8. CTD’s The Doctors was stable at a 0.7, tying Warner Bros.’ The Real, which was unchanged.

The June 26 premiere of a four-week tryout of Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on 28 Fox and Sinclair-owned stations sank 44% from its average lead-in and 38% from its June 2016 time period averages to a 0.5 rating/1 share weighted metered market average. Among women 25-54, WWHL averaged a 0.2/1, down 33% from its lead-in and off 60% from its year-ago time periods.

Overnight ratings for the third week of Fox’s limited test of The Jason Show remained at a 0.2/1 in households in six metered markets, down 33% from its lead-in and unchanged from its year-ago time periods with a 0.1/1 among women 25-54.

Week three of a trial for Fox’s The Q in eight metered markets again averaged a 0.6/2 in households, down 33% from its lead in and off 25% from last year. The Q averaged a 0.4/3 in daytime’s key demo.

CTD’s Judge Judy, in repeats on four of the five days, led all of syndication and the courts at a 6.3, down 3% for the week but up 7% from last year. Judy was the only court show to improve upon last year’s ratings.

CTD’s Hot Bench also was mostly in repeats and gave back 5% to a new season-low 2.0. Warner Bros.’ People’sCourt and Judge Mathis were flat at a 1.6 and 1.1, respectively. Twentieth’s Divorce Court declined 10% to a 0.9. Trifecta’s Judge Faith perked up 14% to a 0.8.

Warner Bros.’ off-net sitcom leader The Big Bang Theory weakened 9% to a 4.3. Twentieth’s Modern Family, Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men and Twentieth’s FamilyGuy all were flat at a 2.4, 2.1 and 1.9, respectively. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly and Twentieth’s newcomer Last Man Standing each slid 6% to a 1.5, marking a new season low for Mike & Molly. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls relinquished 7% to a 1.3, tying Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show, which added 8%. SPT’s Seinfeld and Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother both remained at a 1.2 and 1.1, respectively, while Twentieth’s King of the Hill climbed 10% to a 1.1.

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.