Syndication Ratings: ‘Wendy Williams’ Rises as Season 13 Debuts

'The Wendy Williams Show' is guest-hosted by Whitney Cummings (right) with guest Tori Spelling (left).
'The Wendy Williams Show' is guest-hosted by Whitney Cummings (right) with guest Tori Spelling (left). (Image credit: Debmar/Mercury/'The Wendy Williams Show')

The Wendy Williams Show returned to first-run production with guest hosts in the week ended Oct. 24 and shot up 33% to a nine-week-high 0.8 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. Wendy Williams jumped into fifth place among the talkers, up from eighth where it had been tied with two other shows.

Debmar-Mercury’s talker opened season 13 with a panel of guest hosts and then four days of shows led by actress Leah Remini as host Wendy Williams continues to be out on medical leave. Sherri Shepherd and Whitney Cummings took on guest-hosting duties in the following weeks.

Also: Whitney Cummings, Sherri Shepherd Next Up to Guest Host ‘Wendy Williams’

Syndicated shows were mostly flat to down during week, after being hit with preemptions for coverage of the death of former US Secretary of State Colin Powell on Oct. 18 as well as competition from seven baseball playoff games on cable. 

Making matters worse, some shows cleared on Sinclair Broadcast stations faced black outs after signals were knocked out due to a group-wide ransomware attack. 

Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan and CBS Media Ventures’ Dr. Phil tied to lead talk for a second straight week with both shows staying at a 1.7. Live has now been first or tied for first 50 times in the last 59 weeks, while Phil has been first or tied for first for the past six weeks straight.

Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Live and Phil also tied at a 0.6, followed by NBCUniversal’s Kelly Clarkson, Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres, Wendy Williams and NBCU’s Maury, all at a 0.4. 

Kelly and Ellen also finished ahead of Wendy Williams in households, with both shows steady in third place at a 0.9. Kelly matched its season high while Ellen, in its 19th and final season, has grown 125% over the past 11 weeks. Conflict talker Maury deteriorated 13% to a new series-low 0.7, tying CBS’ Rachael Ray, which also retreated 13%. 

Disney’s Tamron Hall declined 14% to a 0.6 after being preempted in some markets, tying Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, which was flat for a seventh week.

Also: Quiana Burns Replaces Candi Carter on ‘Tamron Hall’

CBS’ Drew Barrymore stayed at a 0.5, tying NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, which weakened 17%.

Debmar-Mercury’s rookie Nick Cannon, which airs on Fox-owned stations in top markets, was constant at a 0.4 in its fourth week.

Also: Nick Cannon to Host Fox’s ‘Good Day’ in Three Markets

NBCU’s out-of-production syndicated version of Jerry Springer scored a 0.3 for the sixth straight week. Warner Bros.’ The Real receded 33% to a new series-low 0.2, tying CBS’ The Doctors, which stayed put for the 34th straight week.

In its first full week without popular player Matt Amodio, CBS’ Jeopardy! dipped 2% to a 5.6, but that was still good enough to keep the access game in the syndication lead. Jeopardy! was buoyed by Jonathan Fisher’s second week of wins. Fisher amassed $246,000 in winnings over an 11-day span before finally losing on Monday, Oct. 25.

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud, which is often the game and syndication leader, fell 4% to a second-place 5.3, thanks in large part to the Sinclair black outs. 

CBS’ Wheel of Fortune, which is paired with Jeopardy! in many large markets, faded 2% to a 5.0 and third place overall in games and in syndication.

Fox’s rookie You Bet Your Life, with host Jay Leno, rolled a fourth consecutive 0.7, tying Fox’s 25 Words or Less, which stayed put for the sixth straight week. Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask dropped 25% to a new series-low 0.3. 

Disney’s internet video show RightThisMinute maintained a 0.6 for the 11th consecutive week.

CBS’ Inside Edition continued to hold an edge over the magazines, exposing a 2.2 for the third week in a row. CBS’ Entertainment Tonight eased 5% to a 2.0. NBCU’s Access Hollywood was the only magazine show to move up, improving 14% to a 0.8 and equalling its season high. Fox’s TMZ corralled a 0.7 for an eighth straight week. 

Warner Bros.’ Extra lost its primary run in six of the top seven markets due to Thursday Night Football on Oct. 21 but retained its season-high 0.6. CBS’ DailyMailTV delivered a 0.5 for the seventh time in eight weeks. Fox’s Dish Nation held at a 0.2 for the fourth straight week. 

CBS’ Judge Judy led the courts with a steady 4.6, and despite being in repeats, ranked as syndication’s fourth-highest ranked show. CBS’ Hot Bench gave back 6% to a 1.5. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court climbed 14% to a 0.8. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis marshalled a 0.6 for the sixth straight week. Fox’s Divorce Court settled for an unchanged 0.4, tying NBCU’s Judge Jerry, which sustained a series-low 0.4 for the sixth consecutive week. Wrigley Media’s rookie Relative Justice decreased 25% to a 0.3 in its second week on the Nielsen national chart. 

Also: ‘Relative Justice’ to Premiere Monday, Sept. 13, in Syndication

Sitcoms were no laughing matter with most of them down or steady. Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory fell to a new series low, losing 5% to a 2.0. Disney’s Last Man Standing stumbled 8% to a new season-low 1.2. Warner Bros.’ rookie Young Sheldon showed up at a 0.8 for the fourth straight week, tying Sony’s The Goldbergs, which was steady for a third consecutive week. Disney’s Family Guy and Modern Family both fell back 13% to a 0.7 tying Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men, which was stable at its series low, and Sony’s Seinfeld. Finally, 2 Broke Girls depreciated 17% to a new series low 0.5, tying Disney’s Black-ish, which stayed put. 

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.