Syndication Ratings: Steve Harvey Scores Double Win

Steve Harvey was a double winner in the week ending January 24, with both NBCUniversal’s The Steve Harvey Show and Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud hitting all-time highs. CBS Television Distribution’s Hot Bench also hit a series high during the week.

The Steve Harvey Show saw strong viewer response to two episodes that aired on Jan. 18 and 19 featuring Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach and first runner-up Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez. On Dec. 20, Harvey hosted The Miss Universe Pageant and incorrectly announced Gutierrez as the winner, creating a social-media storm. 

Steve Harvey sawthe biggest weekly increase of any talker, surging 21% to a series-high 2.3 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. It also improved 10% over last year at this time. 

Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, the show improved 22% to a 1.1. The Jan. 18 episode rated the highest, hitting a 2.7, followed by the Jan. 19 episode with Miss Colombia, which was, like its guest, the runner-up at a 2.6.

Another feather in Harvey’s cap was the sky-high performance of Family Feud, which added 7% for the week to a 7.5, a series high for the current edition of the show, which began this run in 1999. The series had its first syndicated run from 1977 to 1985, and then returned for a second stint from 1988 to 1995. 

Hot Bench improved 4% from last week and 44% from last year, showing the most annual growth of any strip in syndication to a series-high 2.6. 

Sticking with court, CTD’s Judge Judy was syndication’s top strip for the 30th time in the past 31 weeks, matching its season-high 7.9, up 3% for the week and 11% from last year at this time. 

The rest of the courts were mixed. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court fell 5% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis moved up 7% to a new season-high 1.6. Twentieth’s Divorce Court and Trifecta’s Judge Faith were both flat at a 1.3 and 0.9, respectively. MGM’s Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court will no longer be included in the national ratings because it’s no longer subscribing to Nielsen, although the show has been renewed for two more years.

CTD’s Dr. Phil led the talkers for a third straight week with a 6% spike to a 3.4, equaling its season high. Phil led among women 25-54 with a 1.6.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael advanced 3% to a 3.2, that show’s second-best rating of the season. Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres added 4% to 2.8. Following Steve Harvey, NBCUniversal’s Maury rounded out the top five with a steady 1.9.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams was unchanged at a 1.7, tying CTD’s Rachael Ray, which rallied 6% to a new season high. Ray also had the strongest annual increase of any talk show, improving 21% from last year at this time.

Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, NBCU's Steve Wilkos, NBCU’s Jerry Springer, CTD’s The Doctors and Warner Bros.’ The Real all were steady with the prior week, at a 1.6, 1.5, 1.4, 1.1 and 1.1, respectively. NBCU’s Meredith Vieira, which will conclude its run in May, added 10% to a new season-high 1.1, tying The Real and The Doctors

Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily widened its lead among the rookies by holding steady at its series-high 1.1, while Disney-ABC’s FABLife, which will conclude its run at the end of this season, slipped 11% to a 0.8. In third place, NBCU’s Crazy Talk showed some spark, picking up 20% to a 0.6. 

Among women 25-54, Crime Watch led with a steady 0.6, while FABLife moved up 25% to a 0.5 and Crazy Talk strengthened 33% to a 0.4. 

In access, the top entertainment magazines were at or near their highest levels of the season. CBS Television Distribution’s Entertainment Tonight led the pack, gaining 6% to a new season-high 3.8. CTD’s Inside Edition recovered 3% to a 3.3. Warner Bros.’ TMZ held steady at its season- high 1.9 for a third straight week. NBCU’s Access Hollywood rose for the fourth week in a row, growing 6% to a 1.9 and matching its season high. Warner Bros.’ Extra held firm at a 1.5, its second best rating of the season. CTD’s The Insider escalated 8% to a new season-high 1.4. 

Twentieth’s Dish Nation and Trifecta’s OK! TV each stood pat at a 1.0 and 0.3, respectively. 

All of the games hit or held season highs. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune rebounded 7% to a new season- high 7.8. Following second place Family Feud, Jeopardy! added 9% to a new season-high 7.2. 

Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game rebounded 7% to match its season-high 1.5, tying Disney-ABC’s recently renewed Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which grew 7% to a new season high. 

Meanwhile, MGM’s viral video show RightThis Minute, which will head to ABC owned stations next year, was unchanged at a 1.2 for the fourth straight week and down 20% from last year at this time.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory led the off-net sitcoms, adding 3% to a 6.4. Twentieth’s Modern Family remained at a 3.5. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men moved up 3% to a 3.0. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly motored ahead 5% to a new season-high 2.3. Warner Bros.’ freshman 2 Broke Girls also finished 5% higher at a 2.2. Twentieth’s Family Guy faded 9% to a 2.1, tying SPT’s Seinfeld, which gained 17% to a new season high. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother stayed at a 1.7. tying Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show, which picked up 6%, tying Twentieth’s King of the Hill, which grew 8% to a 1.4. 

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.