Syndication Ratings: Viewers Go on Vacation Headed Into July 4

Syndies were sluggish in the slow summer week ended July 2, as viewers turned off their TVs and went on vacation.

CBS Television’s The Doctors and Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, mostly in originals through the end of July, had the distinction of being the only two programs out of the 14 talkers to show gains from the prior week. The Doctors strengthened 14% to a five-week high 0.8 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, and held steady year to year even though it was in repeats on all five days. Wendy rose 8% to a fifth place 1.4, although it slipped 7% from last year at this time.

CTD’s Dr. Phil, also in reruns, led the category for the 43rd consecutive week with a 2.7, down 10% for the week but up 8% from last year and the only talker in the top five to improve year to year.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Ryan was without Kelly Ripa for the week, and the show was unchanged from its season low 2.0 set in the prior week when the show was on hiatus with taped and repackaged episodes. That’s down 20% from last year when the show was hosted by Ripa and various guest co-hosts.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres, in repeats, slid 6% to a new season-low 1.6.

Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil’s repeats were again first with a 1.1 while Wendy Williams moved up to tie Live at a 0.9. NBCU’s Maury came in third at a 0.8 and Ellen dropped into a tie for fifth with NBCU’s Steve Wilkos at a 0.7.

Maury was flat at a 1.5. NBCU’s Steve Harvey, getting ready to move to Los Angeles and premiere as Steve, sank 7% to a 1.3 and tumbled 24% from last year at this time, the most of any talker. NBCU’s conflict talkers Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos tied at a 1.2, with Springer skidding 8% for the week and Wilkos unchanged.

Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz flatlined at a 1.1, down 8% from last year. CTD’s Rachael Ray continued to simmer at its series-low 1.0 for a third straight week, sagging 17% from last year. Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen held steady at a 0.9, with repeat shows all week and climbed 13% from last year, marking the largest annual improvement of any show in talk.

NBCU’s Harry gave back 11% to a 0.8. Warner Bros.’ The Real was relegated to last place with an unchanged 0.7, remaining at its season low for the fourth straight week.

After two weeks of a four-week test, the off-Bravo Watch Watch Happens Live delivered a 0.5 rating/1 share weighted metered market average in 31 cities, down 38% from its lead-in and off 29% from its July 2016 time period averages. Among women 25-54, WWHL averaged a 0.3/1.

On July 10, day one of a six-week trial for Debmar-Mercury’s iWitness, produced by FremantleMedia North America and hosted by John Henson, registered a 1.0/2 in seven markets with a double run on WWOR New York. Overall, that was down 29% from its lead-in and down 9% from its year ago time period averages. Among women 25-54, iWitness reported a 0.6/2.

In New York, where the show is airing at 6:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., iWitness averaged a 1.3/3 over its first two days, and scored a 1.0/5 among women 25-54, where it improved 26% from day one to day two. Compared to last year, iWitness was up 113% in the key female demo, and 6% in households.

Also bowing on July 10 was a four-week trial of a new comedic game show, Punchline, which is being produced in-house by the Fox Television Stations. Punchline opened with a 0.3/1 across nine markets, down 57% from its lead-in and down 40% from its year-ago time period averages, with a 0.2/1 in the key demo.

Back in the national ratings, CTD’s Judge Judy was in repeats on four of the five days and down-ticked 2% to a 6.4 to lead all of syndication for the fourth straight week and for the 13th time in the past 14 weeks.

CTD’s Hot Bench held steady at a 2.2, and ranked third in daytime behind only Judy and Phil.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court softened 6% to a 1.5. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis moved down 8% to match its season low at a 1.1. Twentieth’s Divorce Court also equaled its previous season low, losing 10% to a 0.9. Trifecta’s JudgeFaith recovered 14% to a 0.8.

Most magazines gave back their prior week’s gains. In fact, the only show in the top seven to avoid declines was Warner Bros.’ Extra, which held at a 1.1 despite multiple large-market preemptions for holiday specials.

CTD’s magazine leader Entertainment Tonight slipped 7% to a new season-low 2.6. CTD’s Inside Edition fell back 4% to a 2.4, equalling its season low and declining 14% from last year. Warner Bros.’ TMZ slumped 7% to a 1.3. NBCU’s AccessHollywood was off 8% to a 1.2, matching its season low.

CTD’s Insider, which will end its 13-year run in September, relinquished 10% to a 0.9. Twentieth’s Dish Nation dropped 14% to a 0.6, equaling its series low. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page remained at a 0.3 for the 26th consecutive week.

Debmar-Mercury’s FamilyFeud led the game shows at a 6.2, fading 3% for the week and 11% from last year. CTD’s Jeopardy! was flat at a 5.5, but moved into second place ahead of CTD’s Wheel of Fortune, which fell 4% for the week and 9% from last year to a 5.3. Jeopardy! dipped 2% from last year.

Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire depreciated 6% to a 1.6, while Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game, which will exit after this season, rebounded 10% from its season low set in the prior week to a 1.1.

Disney-ABC’s viral video show Right This Minute slowed down 7% to a 1.3.

In off-net syndication, Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory inched up 2% to a 4.8. Twentieth’s Modern Family weakened 4% to a 2.5. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men remained at a 2.2. Twentieth’s Family Guy gave back 5% to a 1.8. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly and Twentieth’s freshman Last Man Standing both strengthened 7% to a 1.6. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls stood pat at a 1.4. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show eroded 8% to a 1.2, tying Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother and SPT’s Seinfeld, both of which held for the week.

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.