'Jeopardy,' with jolt from James Holzhauer, takes second in season-to-date race

As syndication prepares to wrap the 2018-19 season, CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Judy snagged the first-run win for the tenth time in 10 years.

Judy led all of syndication with a 6.8 season-to-date household ratings average, according to Nielsen Media Research. CTD’s Jeopardy!, which got a huge boost from the 32-game run of super-contestant James Holzhauer, came in second with a 6.2 season-to-date household average, followed closely by Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud at a 6.1.

The TV season officially ends Aug. 25 and most new syndicated shows are queued up to premiere Monday, Sept. 9. 

In the slow late-summer session ending Aug. 18, Judy led the court shows with a 2% advance to a four-week high 5.9.

CTD’s Hot Bench was in repeats on three of the five days but still grew 5% to a 2.0 and tied an all-repeat week of CTD’s Dr. Phil to be daytime’s second-highest rated syndicated series.

For the season, Hot Bench was daytime’s third-highest ranked daytime series after only July and Phil.

As for the other courts, Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis both were flat at a 1.3 and 0.9, respectively. Twentieth’s Divorce Court climbed 17% to a 0.7. Debmar-Mercury’s rookie Caught in Providence posted a 0.5 for the ninth straight week.

Dr. Phil led the talkers in the full-season race for the eighth year in a row, including one tie in 2015-16, with a 2.7 season to date household average, followed by Disney’s Live with Kelly and Ryan at a 2.2 and Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres at a 2.0.

Phil also finished first for the 154th straight week with five ties, holding steady at a 2.0 with five days of repeats. Among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, Phil and Live tied for first at a 0.8.

In households, Live came in second to Phil for the 25th consecutive week at a steady 1.9. Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres recovered 8% to come in third for the week at a 1.4.

NBCU’s Maury and Steve Wilkos each were unchanged at a 1.2 and 1.0, respectively. CTD’s Rachael Ray rallied 11% to a 1.0, tying Wilkos.

The national rating of Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams was a blended number including the first week of the three week trial of Jerry O, which is airing on the Fox-owned stations in Wendy time periods.

The combined Wendy encores and Jerry O originals posted a 0.9, which was even with the prior week.

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NBCU’s Steve, the run of which is nearly complete, stayed at a 0.9, tying the Wendy/Jerry O combo and Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, which recovered 13%.

CTD’s Face the Truth, which will not see a second season, stayed at a 0.6 for the third straight week. Warner Bros.’ The Real retreated 20% to a 0.4, equalling its series low and tying CTD’s The Doctors, which stabilized at its series-low 0.4 for a third consecutive week, and NBCU’s syndicated run of the out-of-production Jerry Springer, which held steady. Disney’s E.W. Scripps-produced Pickler & Ben, which also is almost finished, held at a 0.3 for the sixth straight week.

In access, some shows were penalized by preemptions for pre-season NFL football on Aug. 15. CTD’s Inside Edition and Entertainment Tonight and Warner Bros.’ TMZ all were unchanged at a 2.5, 2.3 and 1.1, respectively. NBCU’s Access, which was the only magazine to improve in the prior week, fell back 9% to a 1.0.

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Warner Bros.’ Extra, which is soon to relaunch as Extra Extra, hung tough at a 0.9, tying CTD’s DailyMailTV, which strengthened 13%. Twentieth’s soon-to-end Page Six TV uncovered a 0.5 for the tenth straight week. Trifecta’s Celebrity Page turned in a 0.2 for the seventh consecutive week.

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Family Feud inched up 2% to a 5.8 to lead the games for the 10th straight week. Wheel of Fortune was flat at a 4.9. Jeopardy! dipped 2% to a 4.7. Disney’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire, which is about to leave the table, broke even at a 1.4. Entertainment Studios’ Funny You Should Ask responded with a 0.5 for the 23rd week in a row.

The sixth and final week of the six-week test for comedy game show Punchline, which began July 15, bowed out with a 0.3 rating/1 share weighted metered market average on select Fox stations. That was down 40% from both its lead-ins and August 2018 time periods. Among women 25-54, the show earned a 0.2/1, off 33% from both its lead-ins and year-ago time periods.

Back in the national ratings, Disney’s viral video show RightThisMinute clocked a steady 1.2.

True crime was little changed. NBCU’s off-net Dateline leveled off at a 1.2 for a fourth straight week. SPT’s off-A&E Live PD Police Patrol backtracked 9% to a 1.0. Off-Investigation Discovery’s True Crime Files was flat at a 0.3.

NBCU’s scripted police procedural Chicago PD stayed at a 0.8 for the fifth straight week.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory, Twentieth’s Last Man Standing and Twentieth’s Modern Family all remained at a 3.7, 2.1 and 1.6, respectively, to lead the off-network sitcoms. Twentieth’s Family Guy gained 17% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men and SPT’s The Goldbergs and Seinfeld all were steady at a 1.3, 1.2 and 1.0, respectively. Disney’s newcomer Black-ish and Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly each moved up 11% to a 1.0, tying Seinfeld. Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls grew 13% to a 0.9. 

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