Syndication Ratings: Sports Outpace Syndies in Slow Summer Session

Syndication ratings declined in face of big sports events, including the NBA Finals.
Syndication ratings declined in face of big sports events, including the NBA Finals. (Image credit:

Syndication ratings were mostly flat to down in the sleepy summer week ended July 18, with baseball's All-Star game and game four of the NBA Finals preempting shows on ABC and Fox affiliates across the country. With reruns the norm and the Olympics starting on NBC on July 23, syndication ratings are likely to remain challenged for the next several weeks. 

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud continued to lead the games and all of syndication, even though the show dipped 2% to a 5.5 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. 

CBS Media Ventures’ Jeopardy!, with ABC News and Good Morning America anchor George Stephanopoulos at the podium, added 2% to a 4.8, moving up a bit from the show’s calendar-year-low 4.7 set in the prior week when CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta served as guest host. 

Also Read: 'Jeopardy!' Guest Hosts' Ratings: Sanjay Gupta Dips in Week Two

CMV’s Wheel of Fortune stalled at a season-low 4.5 for the third week in a row. Fox’s 25 Words or Less lost 13% to a 0.7 while Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask added 25% to a 0.5.

Disney’s internet video show RightThis Minute slowed down 14% to a 0.6.

NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood was the only magazine to improve, climbing 14% to a 0.8. 

CMV’s leader Inside Edition eroded 5% to a 2.1, while sibling series Entertainment Tonight backtracked 5% to a 1.9. Following Access Hollywood, Warner Bros.’ TMZ tumbled 13% to a 0.7. Warner Bros.’ Extra, CMV’s DailyMailTV and Fox’s Dish Nation all held steady at a 0.6, 0.6 and 0.3, respectively.

CMV’s rookie Drew Barrymore was the only talker to improve, strengthening 25% to a 0.5 with five days of reruns. That put the newcomer in a tie with Sony Pictures Television’s veteran Dr. Oz, which declined 17%. 

Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan was steady at a 1.7 to lead the talkers for the tenth straight week with one tie with CMV’s Dr. Phil. Live has been first or tied for first 39 times in the past 45 weeks.

Live also added 6% from the same week last year. The only other talker to improve year to year was Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which improved 25%. Live also led among women 25-54 with a 0.7, followed by reruns of Dr. Phil at a 0.6. 

Dr. Phil, Wendy Williams, NBCU’s Maury, NBCU’s Kelly Clarkson, Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres, Disney’s Tamron Hall, CMV’s Rachael Ray and NBCU’s Steve Wilkos all were flat with the prior week’s 1.5, 1.0, 0.9, 0.8, 0.8, 0.7, 0.7 and 0.6, respectively.

Warner Bros.’ The Real stayed at a 0.3 for the ninth straight week. CMV’s The Doctors, which last week was hit with a racism, sexual harassment and unlawful termination lawsuit filed by former anchor Dr. Ian Smith, sustained a 0.2 for the 21st consecutive week. That tied NBCU’s out-of-production syndicated run of Jerry Springer, which held steady for the 45th straight week.

CMV’s Hot Bench was the lone court show to improve, adding 7% to a three-week-high 1.5. CMV’s Judge Judy, in reruns on three of the five days, dipped 2% to a 4.9 to lead the court shows and rank second in syndication after Family Feud.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis, NBCU’s Judge Jerry, Fox’s Divorce Court and repeats of Trifecta’s Protection Court all settled for a flat 0.8, 0.6, 0.5, 0.5 and 0.2, respectively.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory imploded 9% to a new series-low 2.1 but still led the off-network sitcoms. Bang entered syndication a decade ago.

Disney’s Last Man Standing stood pat at a 1.5. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men decreased 10% to a 0.9, tying Disney’s Modern Family, which was flat for the eighth straight week, and SPT’s The Goldbergs, which stayed put for a second straight week. SPT’s Seinfeld, Disney’s Family Guy and Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly maintained a 0.8, 0.8 and 0.7, respectively. Finally, Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls depreciated 14% to a 0.6, tying Disney’s Black-ish, Debmar-Mercury’s rookie Schitt’s Creek and Warner Bros.’ Mom, all of which were steady. 

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.