Syndication Ratings: Strips Fizzle Ahead of Fourth of July

'Hot Bench' judges Tanya Acker, Patricia DiMango and Michael Corriero (Image credit: CBS Television Distribution)

Considering that the week ended July 5 included the Fourth of July weekend, syndication featured few fireworks, with many shows continuing to hover at series or season lows. 

However, CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Judy and Hot Bench remained daytime’s two highest-rated strips for the fourth straight week even though both shows were almost entirely in repeats.

Judy, in reruns all week, and Bench, aired encore episodes on four of the five days. Judy  led the courts for the 1,241st week in a row, holding its ground at a 5.6 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. That matched its second-best score since the beginning of June.

CTD’s Hot Bench improved 5% to a 2.0, matching a six-week high. 

Compared to last year at this time, while many daytime strips are down by double-digits, neither gaveler has declined at all, hanging tough at their pre-pandemic levels. 

As for the other court rooms, Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was flat at a 1.3 for the fifth straight week. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis dropped 11% to a 0.8, equalling its series low. Fox’s Divorce Court settled for a season-low 0.6 for the fifth consecutive week. Debmar-Mercury’s Caught in Providence remained at its series low 0.4 for the sixth straight week. 

NBCU’s Judge Jerry fell 13% to a new season-low 0.7 but remained the top rookie court. MGM/Orion’s Personal Injury Court and Trifecta’s Protection Court both remained at their season lows of 0.4 and 0.2, respectively.  

CTD’s Dr. Phil rose 6% to lead the talkers with a 1.9 for the third week in a row. Phil, which was the only talker to gain ground, has now been first or tied for first in the genre for the 187th time in the past 200 weeks. 

Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan, which aired mostly repackaged shows while on hiatus, slipped 6% to a new season-low 1.6. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Dr. Phil and Live tied for first at a 0.7.

Further back, Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres descended 8% to a new series-low 1.1, tying NBCU’s Maury, which maintained at that level for the fourth consecutive week. 

CTD’s Rachael Ray, NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, Warner Bros.’ The Real, CTD’s The Doctors and NBCU’s syndicated run of the out-of-production Jerry Springer all were unchanged at their season or series lows of 0.9, 0.9, 0.8, 0.6, 0.4, 0.4 and 0.3, respectively.

NBCU’s freshman talk leader Kelly Clarkson, which was partially in repeats, ran into preemptions for coronavirus coverage and eased 10% to a 0.9.

Disney’s Tamron Hall, which like Clarkson has been renewed for a second season, also was peppered with preemptions and relinquished 13% to a 0.7 with reruns on four of the five days. 

SPT’s Mel Robbins, which is nearing the end of its run, stayed at its overall low mark 0.3 for the fifth straight week.

In access, magazines were little changed with a bias to the downside. CTD’s Inside Edition was flat at a 2.4 to edge out sister show Entertainment Tonight, which ticked down 4% to a 2.3. NBCU’s Access Hollywood did not air in Philadelphia on two days, among other preemptions, and pulled back 9% to a new season-low 1.0. Warner Bros.’ TMZ and Extra and CTD’s DailyMailTV all were steady at a 0.9, 0.8 and 0.8, respectively. Meanwhile, Trifecta’s Celebrity Page stayed at a series-low 0.1 for a fourth straight week.

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud inched up 2% to a 5.9 to lead the games and all of syndication for the fourth straight week. CTD’s Jeopardy! dipped 2% to a 5.0, while sister strip Wheel of Fortune also slid 2% to a 4.9. Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask added 20% to a 0.6.

Rookie games Fox’s renewed 25 Words or Less, starring and executive produced by Meredith Vieira, and SPT’s soon-to-end off-GSN America Says both stayed put at a 1.0 and 0.8, respectively.

Disney’s RightThisMinute managed a series-low 0.7 for the sixth straight week. 

NBCU’s Dateline delivered a 1.1 for the third consecutive week while NBCU’s off-network scripted procedural Chicago PD was flat-footed at a series low 0.7 for a second straight week. 

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory weakened 3% but still led the off-net sitcoms at a 2.8. Disney’s Last Man Standing stumbled 5% to a 2.1. Disney’s Modern Family forged ahead 8% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men stood pat at a 1.2. SPT’s The Goldbergs gave back 9% to a 1.0, tying SPT’s Seinfeld and Disney’s Family Guy, both of which remained at a 1.0. Disney’s Black-ish added 13% to a 0.9. Finally, Warner Bros.’ Mom and Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly both eroded 11% to a 0.8, tying Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls, which was steady for the fifth week in a row. 

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.