Syndication Ratings: Rio Olympics Take Bite out of Syndies for Second Week in a Row

The Summer Olympics in Rio continued to be the dominant TV force in the week ended Aug. 21, forcing several syndies to break out their ratings altogether and not be counted for the week.

As was the case in the prior session, some shows were retitled by their syndicators as “Olympics specials” and broken out of the week’s averages. These included Disney-ABC’s Live With Kelly, Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres, NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey, Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz and Warner Bros.’ Extra.

Coverage leverages dropped enough for several other strips to be broken out by Nielsen for the entire week. If a show loses 10% of more of its nationwide coverage, Nielsen will break the show’s rating for that week out of its season-to-date average. Several shows were preempted for the entire week, including CBS Television Distribution’s Rachael Ray and The Doctors, Disney-ABC’s FABLife and NBCU’s soon-to-end Meredith Vieira.

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Many other shows chose to air mostly reruns during the week.

CTD’s Dr. Phil aired repeats all five days, but still managed to grow 5% from the prior week to a 2.1 live plus same day national household average and finish first among the talkers, although it didn’t have its customary competition from Live.

With Live, Ellen and Steve Harvey out of the picture, NBCU’s trio of conflict talkers all moved up on the ranker list. Maury rose to second at an unchanged 1.5, while Steve Wilkos added 8% to a 1.3 and Jerry Springer stayed at a 1.1. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, in reruns, weakened 9% to a new season-low 1.0, while Warner Bros.’ The Real remained at a 0.7. 

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Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily, the one rookie to survive to a second season, held steady at a 0.7 in reruns. The show will begin its sophomore season on Sept. 12 with a new name, Crime Watch Daily With Chris Hansen, as former Dateline contributor Hansen joins the show as host.

NBCU’s soon-to-end Crazy Talk was flat at a 0.4, while FABLifewas broken out.

CTD’s Judge Judy, partly in repeats, rose 3% for the week to a 6.3 at the top of the courts and led all of syndication for the third week in a row. CTD’s Hot Bench, entirely in repeats, grew 5% to a 2.1 and tied Dr. Phil as daytime’s second-highest rated show behind only Judy.

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Warner Bros.’ People’s Court picked up 7% to a 1.6. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis was unchanged at a 1.3. Twentieth’s Divorce Court climbed 10% to a 1.1. Trifecta’s Judge Faith was flat at a 0.7. 

Among game shows, Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was the only winner, inching up 2% to a 6.0, leading the category for the 17th straight week and taking second place on the overall chart behind only JudgeJudy.  

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game and Dsiney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire all were steady at a 5.2, 4.9, 1.1 and 1.1, respectively. Compared to last year when there were no Olympics, Family Feud was only off 3%, while every other game show declined by double-digits.

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MGM’s viral video show, RightThisMinute, was unchanged at a 1.0 for the fifth week in a row.

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight topped the field at a steady 2.8. CTD’s InsideEdition recovered 4% to a 2.5 after hitting a new season low in the prior frame. NBCU’s Access Hollywood, which was the lead-in to the Olympics and the pre-Olympic specials in many large markets, remained in third place for a second straight week, although the show slipped 6% to a 1.7. 

Warner Bros.’ TMZ advanced 8% to a fourth-place 1.4. CTD’s The Insider remained at a 0.9 tying Twentieth’s Dish Nation, which strengthened 13%. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page registered its regular 0.3 for the 21st week in a row.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory popped up 10% for the week to lead the off-net sitcoms at a 4.6. Twentieth’s Modern Family remained at its series-low 2.3, tying Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men, also at its series low, for the second straight week. Twentieth’s Family Guy gained 5% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly slumped 6% to a 1.7. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls gave back 6% to a new season low 1.6, tying SPT’s Seinfeld, which spurted 7%. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother moved down 7% to a new season-low 1.4, tying Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show, which was steady. Twentieth’s King of the Hill was flat at a 1.3. 

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.