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Syndication Ratings: Without Oscar Stars, Magazines Fall Back to Earth

Without the 92nd annual Academy Awards to cover, most magazines lost ground in the week ended Feb. 23.

Making matters worse, the week included the lightly viewed Presidents' Day holiday, preemptions in some markets for the Democratic Primary debate in Nevada on Feb. 19, and the airing of the rain-delayed Daytona 500 on Monday, Feb. 17, instead of Sunday, Feb. 16 as scheduled.

Despite the fact that the Feb. 9 Oscar telecast was the lowest rated in history, the gala ceremony is always the event of the year for entertainment magazines. Without it, four of the top six magazines lost ground with only NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood and CBS Television Distribution’s DailyMailTV able to hang on.

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight slipped 3% to a 2.9 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, but still led the category for the seventh straight week. Sister show Inside Edition also fell back 3% to a 2.8. Access Hollywood was one of the two top-six magazines to hold on to its Oscar week gains to maintain at a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ TMZ, which did not gain an Oscars-related increase, tumbled 9% to a 1.0. Warner Bros.’ Extra eased 10% from season-high levels to a 0.9 after getting preempted in several top markets for Fox’s broadcast of the Daytona 500.

CTD’s DailyMailTV held its ground at a steady 0.8 in households.. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page stayed at a 0.2 for the 34th straight week.

In daytime, CTD’s Judge Judy also faced Daytona-related preemptions on Fox-owned stations in top markets and fell back 6% to a 6.5. That was still good enough to lead all of syndication for the 24th time in the past 30 weeks with one tie and to dominate the court shows for the 1,222nd straight week. On Monday, Judy Sheindlin said on Warner Bros.’ EllenDeGeneres that Judge Judy would end original production after next season, the show’s 25th, although Sheindlin intends to return with a new show called Judy Justice.

Related: 'Judge Judy' to End After Next Season

CTD’s Hot Bench, which was created by Sheindlin, hit a 2.1 for the third straight week and ranked as the third-highest show in daytime after only Judy and CTD’s Dr. Phil.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis were unchanged at a 1.4 and 0.9, respectively. Fox’s Divorce Court rebounded 17% to a 0.7. Debmar-Mercury’s Caught in Providence recovered 25% to a 0.5

Among the season’s rookie courts, NBCU’s Judge Jerry, renewed for a second season, jumped 13% to a 0.9, despite being in repeats on all five days.

Related: 'Judge Jerry' to Return for Season Two

MGM/Orion’s Personal Injury Court increased 17% to a new season-high 0.7, while Trifecta's Protection Court remained at a 0.3 for the 23rd straight week.

Talk was relatively stable. Dr. Phil held steady at a 2.6 and finished first or tied for first among the talkers for the 177th time in the last 181 weeks. Among women 25-54, Dr. Phil also led with a 1.0.

Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan, which had gotten a nice boost from its annual after-Oscars show in the prior week, fell back 9% from its season high to a 2.0 tying Ellen, which added 5%.

Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, NBCU’s Maury, CTD’s Rachael Ray, NBCU’s Steve Wilkos, SPT’s Dr. Oz, Warner Bros.’ The Real and CTD’s The Doctors all remained at a 1.3, 1.2, 1.1, 1.0, 0.9, 0.6 and 0.5, respectively. NBCU’s out-of-production syndication run of Jerry Springer sprang up 33% to a 0.4.

Related: 'Maury' Renewed for Two More Seasons

NBCU’s rookie leader Kelly Clarkson, renewed for next year, held at a 1.3, tying Wendy Williams at fourth among the 14 talk shows.

Disney’s Tamron Hall, which also will return for a second season, remained at a 1.0. SPT’s MelRobbins, which will not return next season, sank 20% to a 0.4.

CTD’s Jeopardy! remained the top game although it dipped 3% to a 6.3. Close behind, Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud forged ahead 3% to a 6.2. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune faded 2% to a 6.1 for third place among the games.

Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask, which is renewed for two more seasons, answered with an unchanged 0.5 for a third straight week.

Fox’s rookie game show 25 Words or Less, which is coming back for year two, and SPT’s off-GSN America Says, which is not, both stayed put at a 1.1 and 0.7, respectively.

Disney’s RightThisMinute rested at a 0.8 for a fourth consecutive week.

NBCU’s off-net crime strip Dateline remained at a 1.1. SPT’s off-A&E Live PD Police Patrol added 11% to a 1.0. NBCU’s scripted procedural Chicago PD raced ahead 13% to a 0.9.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory slid 6% to a 3.0. Disney’s Last Man Standing rose 5% to a 2.1. Disney’s Modern Family fell 7% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men stayed at a 1.3. Disney’s Family Guy stabilized at a 1.2. SPT’s The Goldbergs eroded 8% to a new series-low 1.1. SPT’s Seinfeld was unchanged at a 1.0. Disney’s Black-ish backtracked 10% to a 0.9, tying Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls, which grew 13%, and Warner Bros.’ Mom and Mike & Molly, both of which were on par with the prior week. 

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.