Syndication Ratings: Viewers, Ratings Decline in Summer Swoon

The first week of August brought with it an average PUT level decline of more than 1.8 million viewers from the week before and a nasty summer ratings swoon for most of syndication.  Some shows also had to deal with Aug. 5 preemptions for news coverage of the two Current TV journalists freed from North Korea returning to the U.S.

In daytime, everything in first run was down or flat.  CBS Television Distribution’s Oprah held on to the talk show lead but lost 3% from the week before to a 3.5.  CTD’s Dr. Phil held steady at a 2.5.  Disney/ABC’s Live With Regis and Kelly dropped 8% to 2.4.  NBCU’s Maury eroded 6% to 1.7.  CTD’s Rachael Ray and Warner Bros.’ EllenDegeneres were both down 13% to 1.4.  NBCU’s Jerry Springer sank 15% to 1.1.  NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks, and NBCU’s Martha Stewart were all flat at 1.1, 0.9, and 0.6 respectively.  

Court room leader, CTD’s Judge Judy, dipped 3% to 3.7.  Judy was syndication’s number one show for the seventh straight week.  CTD’s Judge Joe Brown eased 5% to 1.9.  Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was unchanged at 1.7.  Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis and Twentieth’s Judge Alex each fell 7% to 1.4 and 1.3 respectively.  Twentieth’s Divorce Court, Christina’s Court (Twentieth), and Sony’s Judge David Young were all flat at 1.2, 0.7, and 0.7 respectively.  

In the race between the two newest shows in syndication, Twentieth’s Wedlock Or Deadlock came in at 0.9/3 weighted metered market average, while Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams scored a 0.8/2.  Wedlock is four weeks into a six week trial run in seven test markets.  Wendy is cleared in 43 metered markets.  

The nationally rated rookies continued to be led by CTD’s The Doctors which slipped 12% in to a 1.5.  NBCU’s Deal Or No Deal held firm at 1.4.  Wendy Williams fell 10% to 0.9.  Sony’s Judge Karen was just behind with an unchanged 0.8.  Warner Bros.’ Bonnie Hunt eroded 14% to 0.6.  Debmar-Mercury’s Trivial Pursuit and Program Partners’ Family Court trailed at a flat 0.5 and 0.4, respectively.

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune led the game shows, skidding 5% to a 5.5.  CTD’s Jeopardy receded 4% to 4.6.  Disney/ABC’s Who Wants To Be a Millionaire fell 8% to 2.2.  Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was firm at a 1.4.  

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight was the highest-rated magazine, slipping 5% from the week before to 3.7.  CTD’s Inside Edition was flat at 2.7.  Warner Bros.’ TMZ fell 5% to 1.9.  NBCU’s Access Hollywood remained stable at 1.8.  CTD’s The Insider dropped 6% to 1.6.  Warner Bros.’ Extra was unchanged at 1.5.

Off-net sitcoms were mostly lower from week-to-week.  Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men was flat at 4.1.  Twentieth’s Family Guy was down 3% to 3.5.  Warner Bros.’ George Lopez bucked the trend and rose 11% to a 3.0, tying CTD’s Everybody Loves Raymond, which was unchanged.  Sony’s Seinfeld was flat at 2.9.  Twentieth’s King of the Hill fell 4% to 2.4.  Sony’s King of Queens was unchanged at 2.3.