Syndication Ratings: Syndies Flat to Down in October's First Week

Updated: October 16, 2013, 6 p.m. ET

Twentieth's rookie off-net sitcom Modern Family continued to
be strong in its second week in syndication but softened 5% to a 3.9
live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media
Research, in the week ended Oct. 6.

Across the board, syndicated
shows were flat to down in a week that included massive news
preemptions for coverage of a shooting on Capitol Hill and the
government shut-down.

Among the veteran sitcoms, Warner Bros.' The Big Bang Theory continued to decline after being shuffled to Fox's lower-rated duopoly stations in top markets in favor of airing Modern Family in access on Fox's larger stations. as well as being preempted on TBS due to Major League Baseball playoffs. Big Bang dropped
14% to a 5.1, the show's lowest rating since Oct. 24, 2011, and nearly
back to where the show started. That's also a 23% decline from last year
at this time.

Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men recovered 6% to a 3.6 but is still down 25% from last year. Twentieth's Family Guy skidded 7% to a 2.6. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother sank 10% to a 1.9, tying Warner Bros.' Friends which was flat at a 1.9. Twentieth's King of the Hill rose 6% to a 1.7. SPT's Rules of Engagement added 7% to a 1.6, while SPT's Seinfeld slumped 12% to a 1.5, a 29% decline from last year at this time.

Among the other freshmen off-net sitcoms, Twentieth's The Cleveland Show climbed 6% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.' The Middle gained 8% to a 1.3, while SPT's Community, the rating of which is not boosted by a cable run, was steady at a 0.4.

CTD's Dr. Phil and Disney-ABC's Live with Kelly and Michael tied for the talk lead, with Phil dipping 4% to a 2.7, while Live was steady. Warner Bros.' Ellen eroded 8% to a third place 2.4. SPT's Dr. Oz, hurt by preemptions, was off 5% to a 2.0. NBCU's Maury also eased 5% to a 1.9.

Disney-ABC's Katie also took a hit from news preemptions, dropping 16% to a 1.6. That tied NBCU's Steve Harvey, which was flat for the week but up 23% from last year at this time.

CTD's Rachael Ray remained at a 1.3, tying Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams, which was flat for the week but up 18% from last year.

NBCU's Steve Wilkos yielded 8% to a 1.2, tying NBCU's Jerry Springer, which was flat. CTD's The Doctors receded 8% to a 1.1. NBCU's Trisha was unchanged at a 0.5, although up 25% from last year's 0.4. Meredith's The Better Show trailed at a flat 0.2.

Among the rookies, SPT's Queen Latifah reigned as the top new talker for the third week, holding at a 1.2. Warner Bros.' Bethenny remained at a 0.8, up 17% from year-ago time periods among daytime's key demographic of women 25-54.  CTD's The Test regained 20% to a 0.6.

In late night, CTD's Arsenio Hall,
in executive producer Neal Kendall's last week, dropped 13% for the
week to a 0.7, and also was down 36% from its 1.1 national premiere week
rating four weeks ago. Going forward, CTD senior VP of programming Eric
Pankowski will be filling in as EP.

Leading all first-run strips for the 23rd straight week, CTD's Judge Judy clocked a 6.8, down 1% from the prior week, but up 1% from last year.

All of the veteran court shows were down for the week. Warner Bros.' People's Court slid 6% to a 1.6 and declined 16% from last year at this time. Likewise, Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis sagged 7% to a 1.4, tying Twentieth's Divorce Court, which also was down 7%. Twentieth's Judge Alex stumbled 13% to a 1.3, while MGM's rookie Paternity Court was flat at a 0.8 in its second week.

CTD's omg! Insider
scored the week's biggest weekly increase among entertainment
magazines, jumping 7% to a 1.5, the show's highest rating since the week
of February 25. CTD's leader, Entertainment Tonight, held steady at a 3.7. CTD's Inside Edition added 4% to a 2.9. Warner Bros.' TMZ declined for the second week, sliding 5% to a 1.8. NBCU's Access Hollywood held firm at a 1.7. Warner Bros.' Extra gave back 6% to a 1.5, but marked the biggest year-to-year improvement among the top six major magazines, growing 7%.

Twentieth's sophomore Dish Nation and Trifecta's RightThisMinute, America Now and rookie OK! TV all were unchanged at a 1.0, 1.0, 0.3 and 0.2, respectively.

Among game shows, CTD's Wheel of Fortune rolled to an easy lead, inching up 2% to a 6.7. CTD's Jeopardy! was flat, buzzing in at a 6.0. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud faded 7% to a 4.2. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire depreciated 5% to a 2.0.

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.