Syndication Ratings: Shows Rebound After Slow Thanksgiving Week

Syndies came bouncing back in the week ended Dec. 4, the first full week after the November sweep and the week after the long Thanksgiving weekend when viewers spend more time watching football and parades than syndication staples.

Related: Syndication Ratings: 'Judge Judy' Leads All Shows in November 2016 Sweep

Many shows retitled themselves on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, so those low-rated episodes were not included in shows’ weekly ratings averages. Other shows allows those low-rated days to be included, so some shows had an advantage when comparing performances over the two weeks. 

On balance, shows airing in access, which see the direct benefit of shorter days and colder nights, were the week’s winners.

Sharon Hoffman debuted on Dec. 1 as the new executive producer of CBS Television Distribution’s Entertainment Tonight and The Insider. Both shows improved for the week and year, with ET up 13% for the week and 10% for the year to a 3.4 and The Insider up 30% for the week and 8% for the year to a season-high 1.3. 

Related: Sharon Hoffman Named Executive Producer of 'ET,' 'The Insider'

CTD’s Inside Edition, which had fallen to a season low in the prior frame, rebounded 19% to a new season-high 3.1 in second place. Warner Bros.’ TMZ recovered 14% to a 1.6. NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood improved 8% to a 1.4, but fell 22% from last year at this time, the most of any magazine. Warner Bros.’ Extra held firm at a 1.3, tying The Insider.

Twentieth’s Dish Nation remained at a 0.8 for the fifth straight week, while Trifecta’s CelebrityPage posted a 0.3 for the 36th consecutive week.

The top-three game shows all ricocheted from season lows in the prior week to new season highs. 

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud advanced 18% to a 7.1, up 20% from last year at this time. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune gained 16% to a 6.5 but was still down 7% compared to last year.   CTD’s Jeopardy! grew 17% to a 6.2, down 3% compared to last year. 

Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire declined 6% to a 1.6, but with better clearances was up 33% from the same week last year. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game, which will end its run after this season, was unchanged at a 1.3. 

Also standing pat was Disney-ABC’s viral video show RightThisMinute at a 1.4.

CTD’s Dr. Philled the talkers for the 13th consecutive week with a 29% gain for the week and 16% for the year to a 3.6, one of just two shows in the genre to improve year to year. Phil also led among women 25-54, adding 23% to a 1.6.

The other annual gainer was Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily, which hit a new season high, spiking 22% for the week and the year to a 1.1. Crime Watch, which this season added former Dateline correspondent Chris Hansen as host, also increased 20% among women 25-54 to a 0.6.

Related: Chris Hansen Joins 'Crime Watch Daily'

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres assumed sole possession of second place in talk with a steady 2.6. Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly dipped 4% to a 2.4 and third place overall.

The other 11 talk shows were only separated by 0.6 of a ratings point.

NBCU’s SteveHarvey—which will end its run in Chicago after this season, move to Los Angeles and launch as a new celebrity-focused talker—sank 12% to a 1.5, tying NBCU’s Maury, which declined 6%, and Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which rallied 7%. CTD’s Rachael Ray tumbled 13% to a 1.4, tying NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, which was flat. 

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NBCU’s Jerry Springer and Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz both slid 8% to a 1.2, tying NBCU’s Harry, starring Harry Connick Jr., which strengthened 20% to a 1.2 after many Thanksgiving weekend preemptions. Harry also grew 20% among women 25-54 to a 0.6.

CTD’s The Doctors held steady at a 0.9, tying Warner Bros.’ The Real, which added 13%.

CTD’s Judge Judy led the courts, although it fell off 3% from its season high in the prior week to a 7.3, still good enough to lead all syndicated strips for the 18th consecutive week.

CTD’s Hot Bench dipped 4% to a 2.4, but still rose 4% from last year and was the only court to improve year to year.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court gained 6% to a 1.7. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis moved up 8% to a 1.3 after dropping to a new season low in the prior session. Twentieth’s Divorce Court was flat at a 1.1. Trifecta’s Judge Faith stayed at a 0.8 for the sixth week in a row.

The off-net sitcoms were mostly up or steady. Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory recovered 14% to lead the genre at a 5.8. Twentieth’s Modern Family finished 4% higher at a 2.9. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men grew 13% to a new season-high 2.6. Twentieth’s Family Guy gave back 10% to a 1.9, tying Warner Bros.’ Mike and Molly and Twentieth’s rookie Last Man Standing, both of which were flat. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls rebounded 13% to a 1.8. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother and The Cleveland Show and SPT’s Seinfeld all were unchanged at a 1.4, 1.3 and 1.3, respectively. 

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.