Syndication Ratings: Top Games Hit Rare Three-Way Tie

In a rare occurrence, Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud and CBS Television Distribution’s Wheelof Fortune and Jeopardy! all tied for first place in the games in the week ended Oct. 7, something that hasn’t happened in more than three years.

Once again, the week was marked by heavy preemptions for coverage of the hearings around Judge Brett Kavanaugh to be confirmed to the Supreme Court, and consequently a big viewer shift to cable news programming.

Related: Syndication Ratings: 'Wheel of Fortune' Returns to Game Lead

Family Feud inched up 2% from a 44-week low set int he prior week to a 5.9 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. Wheel and Jeopardy! matched that number with Wheel unchanged for the week and Jeopardy! jumping 2% to a new season high.

Among daytime's key demographic of women 25-54, however, Feud was the clear leader at a 2.4, while Wheel came in second at a 1.8 and Jeopardy! followed in third at a 1.7. Finally, among total viewers, Wheel led with 9.52 million viewers on average per show, followed by Jeopardy! with 9.15 million and Feud with 8.74 million.Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire broke even at a 1.6 for the fourth straight week, while Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask remained at a 0.5 for the 11th straight week.

Disney-ABC’s viral video show RightThisMinute remained at a 1.2, off 14% from last year.

In daytime, CTD’s Dr. Phil fell 3% to a 2.8 but still topped the talkers for the 109th consecutive session, including two ties. Among women 25-54, Phil again led talk with a 1.2.

Back in households, Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Ryan jumped 5% to a new season-high 2.2 to take second place among the talkers.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres was flat at a 2.0. NBCU’s Steve moved up to talk’s number-four spot for the first time this season, climbing 8% to a 1.3 to tie NBCU’s Maury, which slid 7%.

Rounding out the top talkers, Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams weakened 8% to a 1.2. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos was on par with the previous week’s 1.1, tying CTD’s Rachael Ray, which rose 10%. Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz was stable at a 1.0 for a fourth straight week.

Warner Bros.’ The Real regressed 14% to a 0.6. CTD’s The Doctors, NBCU’s Jerry Springer — which is out of production and airing mostly on The CW in afternoon network slots — and Disney-ABC’s Pickler & Ben, produced by E. W. Scripps, all flattened out at a 0.5, 0.4 and 0.4, respectively.

Among first-run’s freshmen, CTD’s Face the Truth slipped 13% to a 0.7. Debmar-Mercury’s rookie court Caught in Providence held at a 0.5.

CTD’s Judge Judy led the veteran courts for the 1,150th straight week, or every week for more than 22 years, slipping 1% to a 6.7. That topped all of syndication for the 10th consecutive week.

In second place among the courts and tied for third in daytime with Live, CTD’s Hot Bench held steady at a 2.2. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court recovered 8% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ JudgeMathis moved down 10% to a 0.9. Twentieth’s Divorce Court was flat at a 0.7.

CTD’s Inside Edition led the magazines with a 4% uptick to a 2.9 and edged out sibling show CTD’s Entertainment Tonight, which fell back 3% to a 2.8. NBCU’s Access accelerated 8% to a 1.3, its best rating in 20 weeks and tied Warner Bros.’ TMZ, which also gained 8%. Warner Bros.’ Extra held steady at a 1.1.

CTD’s Daily Mail TV rallied 11% to a 1.0, while Twentieth’s Page Six TV held steady at a 0.7. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page skidded 33% to a 0.2.

Among the true-crime series, NBCU’s off-net true crime strip Dateline decreased 8% to a 1.2. The third week of SPT’s off-A&E Live PD Police Patrol lost 10% to a 0.9. Off-Investigation Discovery’s True Crime Files remained at a 0.3. Scripted off-NBC police procedural Chicago PD maintained its 0.8 for a second week.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory faded 5% to a 4.1. Twentieth’s Last Man Standing stood pat a 2.0. Twentieth’s Modern Family faltered 5% to a 1.9. SPT’s The Goldbergs recovered 8% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men held at a 1.3, tying Twentieth’s Family Guy, which grew 8% to a 1.3. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly, Disney-ABC’s Black-ish and Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls all held at a 1.1, 1.0 and 1.0, respectively, while SPT’s Seinfeld slid 10% to a 0.9.

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.