Syndication Ratings: 'Judge Judy' Evades Pre-Election Week Declines

Rest of syndication flat to down as November sweeps get underway
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CBS Television Distribution’s Judge Judymanaged to climb 4% for the pre-election week ended Nov. 6 to hit a syndication-leading 7.3 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. 

Judge Judy has been syndication’s top-rated court show for more than 20 years and syndication’s top show overall for the past 14 consecutive weeks. 

Also getting a lift from Judge Judy Sheindlin—and her husband, Jerry—was CTD’s Judy-created Hot Bench, which featured both judges on Halloween, Oct. 31. Those appearances boosted the show for the week to a season-high 2.5, ranking it third place in daytime behind only Judy and CTD’s Dr. Phil.

Related: Judge Michael Corriero Joins 'Hot Bench'

All of the other court shows were steady for the week. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court stayed at a 1.6 and Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis remained at a 1.3 for the ninth consecutive week. Twentieth’s Divorce Court was unchanged at a 1.0 for the sixth week in a row. Trifecta’s JudgeFaith stayed at a 0.8.

The week ended Nov. 6 included the first full week of the November sweep, which runs Oct. 27 through Nov. 23, and usually sees most first-run shows offer original episodes. That said, most talk shows were flat for the week with viewers distracted by the historic World Series and broadcast and cable coverage of the election.

Dr. Philcontinued to lead the talk shows, inching up 3% for the week and 9% for the year to a 3.6, the show’s second-highest rating of the season. Phil also led the talk shows among daytime’s key demographic of women 25-54, growing 6% to a 1.7. 

Only two other talkers were in the plus column for the week: Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres, which rose 4% to a new season-high 2.4, tying Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly, which dipped 4%.

The other talker that improved was CTD’s The Doctors, which strengthened 13% to a six-week high 0.9.

In fourth place, NBCUniversal’s The Steve Harvey Show, which will move to Los Angeles next fall to launch a new celebrity-driven talker produced by IMG, sank 6% for the week to a 1.6 and dropped 16% from last year at this time, the biggest annual decline of any talker in the top five. Steve Harvey moved to 2 p.m. from 3 p.m. on several NBC owned stations in top markets this season. 

NBCU’s Maury moved down 6% to a 1.5. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams weakened 7% to a 1.4, tying CTD’s Rachael Ray. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos stayed at a 1.3. 

NBCU’s rookie Harry, starring Harry Connick Jr., was bumped or completely preempted in some top markets by the World Series and gave back 8% to a 1.2 in its eighth week, tying NBCU’s Jerry Springer, which was flat, and Sony Pictures Television’s Dr. Oz, which also fell back 8%. 

Warner Bros.’ Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen held steady for the week at a 1.0, up 11% from last year. Warner Bros.’ The Real retreated 11% for the week and lost 27% from last year to a 0.8.

All of the top-tier magazines were steady to up, with the notable exception of NBCU’s Access Hollywood, which has fallen for three straight weeks, this week dropping 7% to a new season-low 1.3 and declining 28% from last year, the biggest year-to-year erosion of any magazine. This fall, host Billy Bush moved to New York to host the 9 a.m. hour of NBC's Today and was replaced by Today's Natalie Morales, who moved to Los Angeles and remains Today's West Coast anchor. Bush was thrust into the national spotlight in early October when video leaked of him and now President-elect Donald Trump speaking crudely about women, including Bush's then co-host Nancy O'Dell. Bush was fired from Today.

Related: Billy Bush Officially Out at 'Today'

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight, which just named Sharon Hoffman its new executive producer, improved 3% to a 3.4, matching its season high. CTD’s InsideEdition was flat at a 2.8. Warner Bros.’ TMZ rebounded 23% to a 1.6, after getting hit with baseball preemptions and sliding to a new season low in the prior week. 

Related: Sharon Hoffman Named Executive Producer of 'ET,' 'The Insider'

Warner Bros.’ Extra leapt 15% to a new season high 1.5, that show’s best number in 34 weeks, thanks in part to a Wednesday, Nov. 2, exclusive one-on-one interview with then-candidate Donald Trump. That get sent ratings up 77% from the prior week to a 2.3. In addition, Extra beat Access Hollywood for the first time in nearly two years.

CTD’s The Insider held steady at a 1.2. Twentieth's Dish Nation rallied 14% to a 0.8. Trifecta's Celebrity Page posted its regular 0.3 for the 32nd straight week. 

Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud slipped 6% to a 6.4 but remained the top game show. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune fell 2% to a 6.0. CTD’s Jeopardy! inched up 2% to a 5.8. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire broke even at a 1.6 for a third straight week, while Debmar-Mercury’s Celebrity Name Game softened 8% to move backwards to a 1.2 for the first time this season.

Disney-ABC’s RightThisMinute was flat at a 1.4.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory recovered 4% to lead the off-net sitcoms at a 4.9, after dropping to a season low in the prior week. Twentieth’s Modern Family faded 4% to a 2.6. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men remained at a 2.3 for the fourth week in a row. Twentieth’s Family Guy grew 5% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.’ Mike & Molly moved down 6% to a 1.7, tying Warner Bros.’ 2 Broke Girls, which grew 7%, and Twentieth’s rookie Last Man Standing, which gained 13% to a new season high. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show was unchanged at a 1.3. Twentieth’s King of the Hill sank 8% to a new season-low 1.2, tying Twentieth’s How I Met Your Mother, which also eased 8% and SPT’s Seinfeld, which stayed at a 1.2 for the fifth week in a row. 

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