Syndication Ratings: Shows See Season, Series Lows as Preemptions, Pandemic, Protests Rage On

(Image credit: Reuters)

The week beginning with Memorial Day was a good one for syndicated shows to forget.

Shows were preempted  throughout the week ending May 31 for continued coverage of the pandemic and, starting May 26, coverage of the widespread protests sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.

Many syndies dropped to season and series lows during the week, although Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud managed to stay steady at a 6.2 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, to lead the game shows and all of syndication for the fourth straight week. CBS Television Distribution’s Jeopardy! lost 3% to a 5.8, while its sister show Wheel of Fortune faded 5% to a 5.5. 

Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask stayed at a 0.5 for the third consecutive week.

Among the rookie games, Fox’s renewed 25 Words or Less recovered 10% to a 1.1, while SPT’s off-GSN America Says, which is not returning for season two, stayed at a 0.8 for the third straight week. 

Disney’s internet video show RightThisMinute fell back 13% to a 0.7.

CTD’s Inside Edition ebbed 4% to a 2.5 but led the magazines, while sister show Entertainment Tonight yielded 12% to a 2.3. NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood, which did not air in top market New York due to a special on COVID-19 that aired May 25, eased 8% to a 1.2. Warner Bros.’ TMZ was unchanged at a 1.0, while Warner Bros.’ Extra receded 11% to a 0.8, tying CTD’s DailyMailTV, which held steady. 

Trifecta’s Celebrity Page lost 50% -- or one-tenth of a ratings point -- to a new series-low 0.1.

NBCU’s off-network crime strip Dateline dropped 25% to a new season-low 0.9, tying SPT’s off-A&E Live PD Police Patrol and NBCU’s scripted Chicago PD, both of which fell 10%.

In daytime, CTD’s Dr. Phil went into repeats on four of the five days and gave back 13% from the prior week to a 2.0. However, that was good enough to lead the talkers for the third straight week.

Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan followed right behind, dipping 5% to a second-place 1.9. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Live led with a 0.8.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres slumped 7% to a new season-low 1.4, its second new low in three weeks.

NBCU’s Maury moved down 8% to a 1.1, matching its series low. CTD’s Rachael Ray was unchanged at a 1.0. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos tumbled 10% to a 0.9. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, in reruns while its host is on medical leave, hit a new season low for a second straight week, dropping 11% to a 0.8. 

SPT’s Dr. Oz delivered a stable 0.7, matching its series low for a second week, while Warner Bros.’ The Real, CTD’s The Doctors and NBCU’s out-of-production syndicated run of Jerry Springer were all on par with the prior week’s 0.5, 0.4 and 0.3, respectively. 

Among the talk rookies, NBCU’s Kelly Clarkson, in repeats on four of the five days, faced preemptions in large markets and relinquished 9% to a 1.0.

Disney’s Tamron Hall also saw preemptions but held steady at a 0.9. Both Clarkson and Hall are prepping to return for their second seasons. 

SPT’s Mel Robbins, which is not returning, was unchanged at a 0.4 for the 10th straight week. 

CTD’s Judge Judy led the court shows, downticking 2% to a 5.8. 

CTD’s Hot Bench came in second place, dropping 5% to a 2.0 with reruns on all five days, tying Dr. Phil as the second highest show in daytime behind Judy. 

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court skidded 7% to a 1.4, while Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis broke even at a 0.9. Fox’s Divorce Court leveled off at a 0.7 for a third consecutive week. Debmar-Mercury’s Caught in Providence fell back 20% to a 0.4.

Among the court rookies, NBCU’s Judge Jerry sank 11% to a 0.8. MGM/Orion’s Personal Injury Court slipped and fell 20% to a 0.4. Trifecta’s Protection Court settled at a 0.3 for the 37th straight week. 

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory sagged 6% to lead the off-net sitcoms at a 3.0. Disney’s Last Man Standing stumbled 5% to a 2.0. Disney’s Modern Family faltered 7% to a new series- low 1.3. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men, Disney’s The Goldbergs, SPT’s Seinfeld and Disney’s Family Guy all remained at a 1.2, 1.1, 1.0 and 1.0, respectively. Disney’s Black-ish backtracked 10% to a 0.9, tying Warner Bros.’ flat Mom and Mike & Molly, and Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls, which added 13%. 

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.