Syndication Ratings: Shows Stay Flat

Almost all syndicated shows were flat or down in the week ended April 15 as levels of people watching television declined in light of warmer weather, and TV stations preempted daytime shows for coverage of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s congressional testimony. Shows also were, for the most part, in repeats ahead of the May sweeps, which starts in two weeks, and that also kept ratings down.

None of the veteran talk shows managed to improve: seven were down and seven were flat.

CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil, which had hit an eight-week high in the previous frame, gave back 9% to a 3.1 live plus same day rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, but remained atop the talkers for the 84th week in a row with one tie. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil also led with a 1.3.

Back in households, Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Ryan held steady at a 2.2, and reclaimed sole possession of second place behind Phil for the fifth time in six weeks. Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres declined 5% to a 2.1.

NBCUniversal’s Maury and Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams each were unchanged at a 1.4 and 1.3, respectively. NBCU’s Steve and CTD’s Rachael Ray each eased 8% to a 1.2 and 1.1, respectively. NBCU’s conflict talkers Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos each were flat at a 1.1 and 1.0, respectively. Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz had the largest weekly drop in talk, skidding 17% to a 1.0 and equalling its all-time low, while tying Wilkos.

Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen, which isn’t expected to return to broadcast syndication after this season, stayed at a 0.9, while NBCU’s soon-to-end Harry and CTD’s The Doctors, just renewed for another year, both sank 13% to a 0.7, tying Warner Bros.’ The Real, which was flat.

The rookies, like the talkers, were unable to move up in households. CTD’s DailyMailTV was flat for a third straight week at a 1.0 in households, and was unchanged at a 0.5 in the key demo. Twentieth’s Page Six TV, in its fifth week of new-host tryouts, held steady at a 0.7 in households and grew 25% in the demo to a 0.5 to tie Daily Mail TV.

Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask remained at a 0.5 in households with a 0.2 in the demo. Disney-ABC’s Pickler & Ben, which is produced by E.W. Scripps in Nashville, also held at a 0.3 in households and a 0.2 in the demo.

CTD’s court leader Judge Judy was in repeats all week and dipped 1% to a 6.8 to lead both the courts and overall syndication for the eighth straight week. Judy also added 5% from the same week last year.

CTD’s Hot Bench held steady for the week at a 2.3 and also climbed 5% from last year at this time, ranking as the third-highest show in daytime behind Judy and Dr. Phil for the fifth consecutive week.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court gained 7% to a 1.6, while Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis maintained its previous week’s 1.1. Twentieth’s Divorce Court eroded 11% for the week and 20% from last year to a new series-low 0.6. Trifecta’s Judge Faith remained at a 0.6.

None of the magazines improved. CTD’s Inside Edition fell back 3% to a 2.9, tying CTD’s Entertainment Tonight, which held steady. Warner Bros.’ TMZ was unchanged at a 1.4. NBCU’s Access and Warner Bros.’ Extra both relinquished 8% to a 1.2 and 1.1, respectively. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page posted a 0.2 for a fourth straight week.

The top three game shows were separated by just three-tenths of a ratings point. Debmar-Mercury’s leader Family Feud fell 2% to a 6.4. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune was unable to gain, slowing 3% to a 6.1 and landing in a tie with companion program Jeopardy!, which softened 2%. Both Wheel and Jeopardy! were just inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters’ Hall of Fame.

Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire stayed at a 1.6.

Disney-ABC’s viral video show RightThis Minute and NBCU’s off-net true crime strip Dateline both stabilized at a 1.4.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory remained the off-net sitcom leader, inching up 2% to a 4.9. Twentieth’s Modern Family faded 9% to a new series-low 2.0, down 23% from last year at this time. Twentieth’s Last Man Standing stumbled 11% to a 1.7. SPT’s newcomer The Goldbergs slid 6% to a 1.6, tying Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men, which remained at a 1.6. Twentieth’s Family Guy grew 15% to a 1.5. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly held firm at a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls lost 8% to a 1.1, tying SPT’s steady Seinfeld and Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show, which deteriorated 9% to a new series-low 1.0.

Further back, Warner Bros.’ off-net rookie Mom slumped 10% to a 0.9, while CTD’s fellow rookie The Game played at an unchanged 0.4 for the tenth time in 11 weeks. 

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.