Syndication Ratings: Shows Are Calm Before Storms

Syndies were hit by a double-whammy in the week ended Sept. 3, with much of the country headed out for the long Labor Day weekend and Texas prepping to be hit by Hurricane Harvey, which ended up causing major flooding throughout the week.

Shows also saw massive preemptions on Monday, Aug. 28, when President Donald Trump addressed the nation about the storm situation.

Still, the vast majority of shows were stable, with many still in repeats in the first week following the end of the 2016-17 Nielsen TV season. Many shows won’t debut or begin their new seasons until mid- to late-September.

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For example, 11 of the 14 talk shows were unchanged from the prior week. The only show to improve was CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil, which even in reruns led the talkers making it a full year in the talk lead. The show hit a 10-week high with a 3.0 live plus same day national Nielsen rating, up 3% from the prior week and up 30% from last year. Among women 25-54, Phil led with a 1.2.

Disney-ABC’s Live With Kelly and Ryan was again on tape all week, including previously aired and repackaged episodes on four of the five days. Still, it held steady at a second-place 1.9.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres completed its repeat cycle for the year and sank 12% to match its season low at a 1.5. NBCU’s Maury, Jerry Springer, Steve Wilkos and Steve Harvey, in its last week with that title and that format, as well as Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, CTD’sRachael RayWarner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen and NBCU’s Harry all were steady at a 1.4, 1.2, 1.2, 1.2, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 0.9 and 0.9, respectively.

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CTD’s The Doctors matched its season-low 0.7, dropping 13% for the week and 22% from last year tying Warner Bros.’ The Real, which was flat.

In the overnights for the week starting Sept. 5, the first week of Steve Harvey’s new talk show, Steve, which moved to Los Angeles and is now being produced by IMG-WME, averaged a 1.2 rating/4 share for its primary runs in 54 metered markets. That was up 9% in households and 25% among women 25-54 to a 0.5/4 compared to the prior four-week time period averages.

Among Steve’s best performances in the top-30 markets was San Diego, where it averaged a 1.8/6 at 2 p.m. on KNSD, up 125% from its lead in and up 100% from the previous iteration of Harvey’s talk show.

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On Sept. 11, the season-three premiere of Crime Watch Daily With Chris Hansen opened with a 1.0 rating/3 share in 47 reporting metered markets. CWD was especially strong in top market New York where the show jumped 120% from its lead-in and took its year ago time period up 83% to a 1.1/4 on WPIX at 1 p.m.

The second-season premiere of last year’s sole rookie, Harry, debuted on Tuesday, Sept. 12 with a 0.8/3 in 48 reporting metered markets. Harry fared best in Cincinnati where it scored a 3.0/8 at 9 a.m. on WKRC, tying NBC’s Today for number-one in the time period and growing 30% from its lead in and 50% from its year-ago time period average.

Back in the national ratings, CTD’s court room leader JudgeJudy eased 3% from a ten-week high in the prior frame to a 6.6 but still led all syndicated shows.

CTD’s Hot Bench was mostly in repeats but held steady at a 2.1 and was the third-highest daytime show overall behind only Judy and Dr. Phil for the 11th week in a row.

Warner Bros.’ People’sCourt and Judge Mathis and Twentieth’s Divorce Court all were unchanged at a 1.5, 1.2 and 0.9, respectively. Trifecta’s JudgeFaith fell 13% to a 0.7.

In access, magazines were mostly even with the previous session, although Warner Bros.’ TMZ and NBCU’s Access Hollywood both jumped 8% to a 1.4 and 1.3, respectively. Access Hollywood hit its best rating since the week of June 19.

CTD’s leader Entertainment Tonight and InsideEdition, Warner Bros.’ Extra, CTD’s about-to-depart The Insider, Twentieth’s Dish Nation and Trifecta’s Celebrity Page all remained at a 2.8, 2.6, 1.1, 0.9, 0.7 and 0.3, respectively.

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Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud, starring Harvey, dipped 2% to a 6.1 to lead the games, while CTD’s Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire and Debmar-Mercury’s almost-gone Celebrity Name Game all were flat at a 5.3, 5.1, 1.5 and 0.9, respectively.

Disney-ABC’s Right This Minute recovered 8% from a season low to a 1.3.

Among the off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory slipped 6% to a 4.5. Twentieth’s Modern Family, Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men and Twentieth’s Family Guy all remained at a 2.7, 2.1 and 1.8, respectively. Twentieth’s rookie Last Man Standing recovered 7% to a 1.6. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly moved down 6% to a 1.5. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls gave back 7% to a 1.3. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show slipped 8% to a 1.2, tying SPT’s Seinfeld, which stayed at a 1.2. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother was unchanged at a 1.1 for the week, but down 27% from last year.

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.