Syndication Ratings: Steady as She Goes in First Full Week of February Sweep

After the February sweep got off to a strong start, syndies were mostly flat to down in the first full week of the ratings period, which runs Jan. 31 - Feb. 27.

Warmer weather on the East Coast and preemptions for President Trump’s State of the Union address on Feb. 5 tamped down television viewing and syndication ratings in the week ended Feb. 10.

Only four of the top seven access magazines were able to avoid declines from the prior week.

CBS Television Distribution’s Entertainment Tonight was the only magazine in the top seven to improve for the week, climbing 3% to a 3.3 to overtake stablemate Inside Edition for first place in the category. Inside Edition, in turn, slipped 3% to a 3.2.

That said, while magazines didn’t improve, they mostly held or stayed close to their season highs. Warner Bros.’ TMZ stayed at its season high 1.4. NBCU’s Access gave back 7% from its season high to a 1.3. CTD’s Daily Mail TV held steady at its series-high 1.1 for a fourth straight week, tying Warner Bros.’ Extra, which eased 8% from its season-high 1.1. Twentieth’s Page Six TV also remained at its season high 0.7.

Trifecta’s Celebrity Page increased 50% — or one-tenth of a ratings point — to a 0.3 from a 0.2.

Games, meanwhile, were all flat to down. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud reclaimed first place in the genre for the first time since the week of Dec. 30 with an unchanged 6.7 as both CTD’s Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! retreated.

Wheel fell 7% to a five-week-low 6.6, tying corporate cousin Jeopardy!, which slid 6%.

Disney’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire devalued 11% to a 1.6. Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask remained at a 0.5 for the 29th straight week.

Disney’s viral video show RightThisMinute moved down 7% to a 1.3.

In daytime, CTD’s Judge Judy held steady at its season-high 7.9, leading all of syndication in households for the 31st week in a row with four ties. CTD’s Hot Bench also held at its season- high 2.6 for a second week to rank as daytime’s third highest-rated show in households, after only Judy and CTD’s top talker, Dr. Phil.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court softened 6% to a 1.5. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis slumped 9% to a 1.0. Twentieth’s Divorce Court tumbled 13% to a 0.7.

CTD’s freshman Face the Truth eroded 11% to a 0.8, while Debmar-Mercury’s already renewed Caught in Providence faded 14% to a 0.6.

Dr. Phil dipped 3% to a 3.2 to stay atop the talkers for the 127th straight week with five ties. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil also led with a 1.4.

The race for second stayed close with Warner Bros.’ TheEllen DeGeneres Show declining 4% to a 2.4 to claim sole possession of second place, while Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan relinquished 8% to a 2.3.

Completing talk’s top five were NBCU’s Maury and Steve, both of which remained at their season-highs 1.5 and 1.4.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, hosted by Nick Cannon for three days during the week, was the sole talker of the category’s 14 shows to improve, rising 8% to a 1.3.

NBCU’s Steve Wilkos stayed at a 1.2. SPT’s Dr. Oz dropped 8% to a 1.1, tying CTD’s Rachael Ray, which retreated 15%. Warner Bros.’ The Real remained at a 0.7 for a fifth straight week. CTD’s The Doctors descended 14% to a 0.6.

Disney’s Pickler & Ben held at the prior week’s 0.4, tying the syndicated run of NBCU’s out-of-production Jerry Springer, which earned its usual 0.4 for the 22nd straight week.

On the true-crime beat, NBCU’s off-net Dateline led with a steady 1.4. SPT’s off-A&E Live PD Police Patrol posted a 1.1 for the sixth consecutive week. Off-Investigation Discovery’s True Crime Files was stable at a 0.3.

On the scripted side, NBCU’s procedural strip Chicago PD held steady at a 1.0.

Among the sitcoms, ratings for almost all of the top-ten strips were reruns of the prior frame.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory, Twentieth’s Last Man Standing and Twentieth’s ModernFamily all were unchanged at a 4.9, 2.4 and 2.0, respectively. SPT’s The Goldbergs was the lone exception, growing 7% to a 1.6.

Otherwise, Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men, Twentieth’s Family Guy, Disney’s Black-ish, Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly, Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls and SPT’s Seinfeld all remained at a 1.5, 1.3, 1.2, 1.1, 1.0 and 1.0, respectively. 

Paige Albiniak

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for more than 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for The Global Entertainment Marketing Academy of Arts & Sciences (G.E.M.A.). 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.