Syndication Ratings: 'Hot Bench' Ties Series High in Slow Summer Week

'Judge Judy' is highest-rated show in syndication for seventh straight week
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At summer’s slow end when most shows are in repeats, CBS Television Distribution’s rookie court show Hot Bench managed to tie its series-high 2.1 live plus same day household ratings average, marking an 11% jump in the week ended Aug. 9.

The new panel court show also was daytime's fourth-highest rated show, despite being in reruns on all five days. Among women 25-54, the show improved 14% to a 0.8, according to Nielsen Media Research.

CTD’s Judge Judy, the host of which is the creator of Hot Bench, remained the top show in syndication for the seventh straight week with a 6.5, a 4% dip from the prior week.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court slid 6% to a third-place 1.6. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis skidded 7% to a 1.3, tying Twentieth’s Divorce Court, which was flat. MGM’s Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court gained 9% to a 1.2, while Trifecta’s Judge Faith held at a 0.7.

CTD’s The Doctors was the only program out of 13 talk shows to gain for the week, jumping 11% to a 1.0.

At the top of the talk tier, Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael, the only talk show airing originals, was the category’s top-rated strip for the third straight week, holding steady at a 2.6. Among women 25-54, Live was also tops at a 1.3.

CTD’s Dr. Phil was unchanged in second place at a 2.4. NBCUniversal’s Maury eased 5% to a 1.8, but was the third-highest talker for the fifth straight week.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen, which will open its 13th season on Sept. 8 with headline-making guests Hillary Clinton and Caitlyn Jenner, dropped 12% for the week and the year to a 1.5. That marks a new season low for the show for the second straight week, the show’s lowest household rating in three years. Ellen tied NBCU’s Steve Harvey, which was steady for the week.

NBCU’s Steve Wilkos and Jerry Springer and Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz all were stable at a 1.3 for the week. Wilkos grew 8% compared to last year at this time, while Springer surged 18%, the biggest annual gain of any talk show. Oz dropped 19% compared to last year.

CTD’s Rachael Ray and Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams both remained at a 1.2, with Wendy gaining 9% from last year, while Rachael held steady.

NBCU’s Meredith Vieira, which will switch to a new live, panel format this upcoming season, slipped 11% to a new season-low 0.8, tying Warner Bros.’ The Real, which was flat at its season low for a second straight week.

The three-week test of Warner Bros.’ Ice and Coco, which began Monday, Aug. 3, fell 9% to a 1.0 rating/3 share from week one to week two in its six Fox-owned stations and two Sinclair stations. This was still 43% higher than the 0.7/2 that the Fox Station Group’s earlier test of Boris and Nicole averaged over its four-week trial run.

In its second week, Ice and Coco was up 11% from its 0.9/3 lead-in and up 43% compared to its 0.7/2 August 2014 time period average. Among women 25-54, Ice and Coco sank 22% from week one to week two, averaging a 0.7/5, and outperforming Boris and Nicole by 17%. Ice and Coco also gained 17% from its lead-in average of 0.6/5 and 40% from its year-ago time period average of 0.5/4.

Tegna launched its tryout of T.D. Jakes on Monday, and it premiered at a 0.9/3, down 35% from its 1.4/4 lead-in on five telecasts in four metered markets. Compared to its August 2014 time period average, Jakes was off 18%. Among women 25-54, the talk hopeful fell 50% to a 0.4/2, down 50% from its 0.8/5 lead-in and down 20% from its year-ago time period average 0/5.3.

Back in national syndication, magazines were mixed after a week in which ratings were boosted on coverage of Cecil the lion's brutal killing. CTD’s Entertainment Tonight gave back 3% to a 2.9 but still topped the category. CTD’s Inside Edition fell 3% to a 2.8 for a close second place. Warner Bros.’ TMZ added 6% to a 1.8. NBCU’s Access Hollywood receded 6% to a 1.5. Warner Bros.’ Extra and CTD’s The Insider both held steady at a 1.2. Twentieth’s Dish Nation was flat at a 1.0, while Trifecta’s OK! TV remained at a 0.2 for the eighth consecutive week.

Also in access, Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud finished first for the seventh time in the past nine weeks with a 2% advance to a 6.0 and a second-place finish in overall syndication. Feud also had the greatest year-to-year increase among the games, moving up 36% fro the same week last season.

CTD’s Wheel of Fortune was unchanged at a 5.9, just one-tenth of a ratings point behind the Steve Harvey-led Feud. CTD’s Jeopardy! faded 5% to a third-place 5.8 Far back in fourth place, Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire fell 6% to a 1.6, matching its series low for the seventh time in the past eight weeks. Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game was flat at a 1.3.

Meanwhile, MGM’s video variety show RightThisMinute was down 8% to a 1.2, matching its season low.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory led the off-net sitcoms, dipped 2% to a 5.0. Twentieth’s Modern Family stayed at a 3.1. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men eroded 11% to a new series-low 2.5, tying Twentieth’s Family Guy, which was steady. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly faded 5% to a 2.0. Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother moved up 6% to a 1.9, tying Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show, which climbed 12%. SPT’s Seinfeld and Warner Bros.’ The Middle stood pat at a 1.8 and 1.7, respectively, while Twentieth’s King of the Hill rose 7% to a 1.6.

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