Syndication Ratings: 'Jeopardy!' Ties 'Wheel' for First Time in Nine Years

But both games second to 'Judge Judy' in overall syndication
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Still gaining on the strength of its Battle of the Decades tournament, CBS Television Distribution’s Jeopardy! tied CTD’s Wheel of Fortune for the first time in nine years in the week ending May 18. That marked the last full week of the May sweep, which ran from April 24 through May 21. 

Both games matched up at a 6.8 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. That’s the first time Jeopardy! has equalled Wheel since the week of May 23, 2005, when both shows posted an 8.1 rating.

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud, meanwhile, topped both Jeopardy! and Wheel among every major female demographic, with a women 25-54 rating of 2.8 to Jeopardy!’s and Wheel’s 2.4; a women 18-49 rating of 2.3 to Jeopardy!’s 1.8 and Wheel’s 1.7, and a women 18-34 number of 1.8 to a 1.4 for Jeopardy! and a 1.2 for Wheel. In households, FamilyFeud finished 6% higher for the week at a 5.2.

Further back, Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire appreciated 5% to a 2.2.

Most syndicated shows either held or climbed for the week. Elsewhere in access, most of the top-tier magazines rallied on reports and video showing Beyonce’s sister, R&B singer Solange, wildly hitting and kicking her brother-in-law Jay-Z in an elevator during the Met Gala, another story that was broken by TMZ.com.

CTD’s leader Entertainment Tonight held steady from the prior week to a 3.2, while ET Weekend grew 6% to a 1.8, its highest rating in 10 weeks. CTD’s Inside Edition recovered 7% to a 3.1, coming within striking distance of the genre leader. Warner Bros.’ TMZ added 5% to a 2.0. NBCUniversal’s Access Hollywood scored the largest week-to-week increase among all magazines, spiking 13% to a 1.7, that show’s best rating in two months. Warner Bros.’ Extra improved 7% to a 1.5, while Extra Weekend was up 13% to a 0.9. Rounding out the top six, CTD’s The Insider held steady at a 1.3.

MGM’s RightThisMinute and Twentieth’s Dish Nation both were flat at a 1.1 and 1.0, respectively. Trifecta’s recently canceled America Now weakened 25% from a 0.4 to a 0.3, while its newcomer OK! TV was unchanged at a 0.3 for the eighth week in a row.

In daytime, the majority of shows were steady to higher as the end of the sweep grew closer. In fact, the only two talk shows losing ground from the previous session have already been given their cancellation notices. Disney-ABC’s Katie matched its series low 1.3, declining 7% for the week and 24% from last year at this time, while NBCU's Trisha skidded 17% to a 0.5. CTD’s Dr. Phil maintained its lead over the talkers, holding firm at a 3.4 and climbing 17% from last year at this time, in the week before the show aired its interview with V. Stiviano, ex-girlfriend of LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling. In addition, Phil was a strong number-one among women 25-54 with a 1.9, holding steady for the week.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael, the number-two talker, rose 4% for the week and 17% for the year to a 2.8, while Warner Bros.’ Ellen was flat at a third-place 2.6.

NBCU’s Maury, Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz and NBCU’s Steve Harvey all were steady at a 2.0, 1.9 and 1.8, respectively. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos and Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams each advanced 7% to a 1.5, with both shows improving 15% from last year at this time. CTD’s Rachael Ray, NBCU’s Jerry Springer and CTD’s The Doctors all were even at a 1.3, 1.2 and 1.1, respectively.

Trailing the field, Meredith’s The Better Show was flat at a 0.2. This week, the show moved to 8 a.m. from 5 a.m. on CBS’s WLNY New York, which just canceled its 7 to 9 a.m. morning newscast, The Couch.

SPT’s Queen Latifah, the only new daytime talker to be invited back for a second season, strengthened 9% to a 1.2. Warner Bros.’ Bethenny and CTD’s The Test, both nearing the end of their runs, remained at a 0.7 and 0.6, respectively. In late night, CTD’s Arsenio Hall was off 14% to a 0.6.

At the top of the syndication chart, CTD’s Judge Judy moved ahead 3% for the week and 12% for the year to a 7.4, marking the 35th time in the past 38 weeks that the show has been syndication’s top program.

Warner Bros.’ People’s Court remained in second place with a 6% rise to a 1.9. Twentieth’s already-canceled Judge Alex spurted 7% to a 1.5, tying Twentieth’s Divorce Court, which was flat, and Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis, which rebounded 15% from its season-low 1.3 in the prior week. MGM’s freshman Paternity Court was unchanged at a 1.1. In off-net syndication,

The off-net sitcoms perked up. Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory bounced back 5% from the previous session to a 6.1. Twentieth’s rookie Modern Family was flat at a 4.1. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men remained at a 3.3. Twentieth’s Family Guy gained 8% to a 2.8. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show perked up 6% to a 1.9. SPT’s Seinfeld stayed at a 1.8. Warner Bros.’ Friends was flat at a 1.7, tying Warner Bros.’ The Middle, which climbed 6%, and Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother, which recovered 13% from its series low the prior week.

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