Syndication Ratings: Syndies Slow as Audiences Peel Off for July 4

Syndication remained slow in the July 4 holiday week ending July 10. Besides people opting not to watch television in favor of vacations and cookouts, many syndies were preempted by news coverage of the Dallas sniper attack on July 7.

Related: Syndication Ratings: 'Judge Judy One of Few Strips to Avoid Summer Slump

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly continued to buck the downtrend, topping the talkers by its widest margin since the week of April 25 and coming in first or tied for first for the sixth time in the eight weeks since co-host Michael Strahan departed. 

For the week, Live grew 4% to a 2.6 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, and was the only talk show not to decline from last year at this time. The show also led talk among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54 at a steady 1.2. 

CBS Television Distribution’s Dr. Phil, in repeats all week like most talkers, slipped 12% to a second-place 2.2. 

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres dropped to a new season low for the fourth time in the past six weeks, losing 6% to a 1.7. 

NBCUniversal’s Maury was unchanged at a 1.5 but fell 21% compared to last year, the most of any talk show after NBCU’s canceled Meredith Vieira, which declined 33%.

NBCU’s Steve Harvey deteriorated 18% to a new season-low 1.4, tying Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which weakened 7% to a 1.4. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos recovered 8% to a 1.3, after hitting a new season low in the prior week.

SPT’s Dr. Oz remained at its series low for a fourth straight week, CTD’s Rachael Ray, NBCU’s Jerry Springer, CTD’s The Doctors, Warner Bros.’ The Real and Meredith Vieira all were unchanged for the week at a 1.2, 1.2, 1.1, 0.8, 0.8 and 0.6, respectively. 

Week one of the three-week test of The Preachers, which bowed July 11, averaged a 0.7 rating/2 share in ten metered markets, down 13% from its average lead-in and even with its year-ago time periods, which included last summer’s test of Boris and Nicole in four markets and reruns of The Real in three markets. Among women 25-54, The Preachers posted a 0.3 rating/2 share, down 50% from last year at this time. 

Also completing its first week was the four-week trial of SoMe in six metered markets, with double-runs in New York and Los Angeles. That posted a 0.3/1, down 40% from both its lead-in and year-ago time period averages. In the key demo, it managed a 0.1/1, falling 75% from last year. 

A third trial run, Page Six TV, launched July 18 in seven metered markets, premiering with a 1.0 rating/2 share. That’s down 44% from its lead-in and off 29% from year-ago time periods, where the comparison show was Twentieth’s Dish Nation in more than half its markets. Among women 25-54, Page Six TV opened with a 0.6/2, declining 33% from last year at this time.

Back in the nationals, Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily was in repeats for the week but held steady at a 0.8. Disney-ABC’s soon-to-end FABLife fell 14% to a new season-low 0.6, while NBCU’s Crazy Talk, also nearing its end, advanced 25% (or one-tenth of a ratings point) to a 0.5.

CTD’s Judge Judy fell 4% to a 6.5 but still led the court shows. CTD’s Hot Bench also fell 4% to a 2.2 but took over third place among daytime shows, tying Dr. Phil. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis, Twentieth’s Divorce Court and Trifecta’s Judge Faith all were flat at a 1.7, 1.3, 1.1 and 0.8, respectively.

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud led the games for the 11th week in a row and continued to lead all of syndication even though it slipped 3% to a 6.8. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune sank 9% to a new season low 5.3, tying CTD’s Jeopardy!, which faded 5%. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game was flat at a 1.3. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire depreciated 8% to a 1.2, down 25% compared to last year at this time.

MGM’s viral video show RightThisMinute stayed at a 1.0, sliding 17% from last year.

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight dipped 4% to a new season-low 2.6, tying CTD’s Inside Edition, which had beaten it in the prior week, which sagged 7% to a new season low.

Warner Bros.’ TMZ was unchanged at a 1.5. NBCU’s Access Hollywood shrank 7% to a 1.3. Warner Bros.’ Extra held steady both for the week and year at a 1.2 and was the only magazine in the top five not to decline from last year, while the others were all down by double-digit percentages. 

Twentieth’s Dish Nation was unchanged at a 1.0, and pulled ahead of CTD’s The Insider, which eased 10% to a new season low 0.9 for the first time this season. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page posted a 0.3 for the 15th consecutive week.

Warner Bros.’ off-net leader The Big Bang Theory inched up 2% to a 4.9. Twentieth’s Modern Family finished3% lower at a 2.8. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men dropped 4% to a new series-low 2.3. Twentieth’s Family Guy gave back 5% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls retreated 5% to a 1.8, tying Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly, which was flat. SPT’s Seinfeld strengthened 6% to a 1.7. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show softened 6% to a 1.6. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother backtracked 6% to a 1.5 and lost 25% from last year at this time, the biggest annual decline of any sitcom in the top ten, while Twentieth’s King of the Hill descended 7% to a 1.3.

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.