The second week of the May sweeps was a stellar one for syndies, with shows seeing more gains than they’ve seen in weeks.
In the week ending May 4, five of the top six court shows improved, led, as usual, by CBS’ Judge Judy, which continues to dominate the genre. Judy gained 4% on the week to hit its highest rating in eight weeks, a 4.9 live-plus-same-day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. Judy also improved 9% from the same week last year, the only gaveler to show year-to-year gains. Finally, this marked Judy’s highest-rated week in five years.
In second place, CBS’ Judge Joe Brown hit its highest ratings in six weeks, gaining 4% to a 2.6. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was unchanged at a 2.3, while Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis bounced back 12% from a season-low 1.7 in the prior week to a 1.9.
Stunting worked wonders for Twentieth Television’s Divorce Court, which gained 6% to a 1.8 for the week. The show got a 12% boost for a two-part special May 1 and 2 that featured former child star Gary Coleman, 40, and his wife of eight months, Shannon Price, 22. The couple reconciled over the two days, with each day earning a 1.9.
Twentieth’s Judge Alex gained 6% to a 1.7. Twentieth’s Cristina’s Court was flat at a 1.2. Sony’s Judge Hatchett, nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award but going out of production,dropped 8% to a new season-low 1.1. Sony’s Judge Maria Lopez and Sony’s rookie Judge David Young were unchanged at a 0.9 and a 0.8, respectively. Radar Entertainment’s Jury Duty fell 33% to a 0.2 from a 0.3.
The access magazines all performed well for the week, as well. CBS’ Entertainment Tonight remained on top, climbing 5% to hit its highest ratings in seven weeks, a 4.5. ET saw a 16% increase April 28 to a 5.0 with coverage of Miley Cyrus’ now infamous Vanity Fair photo shoot. CBS’ Inside Edition -- currently atop YouTube’s charts as a video of the show’s former anchor, controversial Fox commentator Bill O’Reilly, having an angry fit circulates around the Web -- gained 3% to a 3.1.
Warner Bros.’ rookie leader, TMZ, jumped 5% to a 2.2, taking third place and beating both CBS’ The Insider and NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood for the first time. Both of those shows held steady at a 2.1. Warner Bros.’ Extra gained 6% to a 1.8.
Five talk shows improved for the week. CBS’ The Oprah Winfrey Show inched up 2% to a 5.1. NBCU’s Jerry Springer jumped 9% to a 1.2. NBCU’s Martha Stewart, NBCU’s Steve Wilkos and Twentieth’s The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet all rose 11% to tie at a 1.0. On April 29, The Morning Show got a 22% boost to a 1.1 due to an appearance by American Idol cast-off Carly Smithson.
As for the other talkers, in second place, CBS’ Dr. Phil dipped 4% to a 4.4. Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis and Kelly remained in the doldrums, holding at its season-low 2.6 for the third week in a row. Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres and NBCU’s Maury each were flat at a 2.1 and 1.9, respectively. CBS’ Rachael Ray fell 5% to a 1.8. CBS’ Montel Williams dropped 8% to a new season-low 1.2. And Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks decreased 9% to a 1.0, landing in a four-way tie for last place.
The game shows were mixed. CBS’ Wheel of Fortune gained 4% to a 7.5. CBS’ Jeopardy! and Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire each gained 7% to a 6.3 and a 2.9, respectively. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud rose 6% to a 1.8. Program Partners’ rookie, Merv Griffin’sCrosswords, fell 13% to a 0.7, tying its season low. Twentieth’s Temptation trailed, unchanged at a 0.4.
Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men continues to lead the off-net sitcoms, climbing 4% to a 5.2. Twentieth’s Family Guy jumped 2% to a 4.3. Sony’s Seinfeld was unchanged at a 3.7. CBS’ Everybody Loves Raymond fell 3% to a new season low 3.3. Warner Bros.’ George Lopez also fell 3% to a 3.1. Sony’s King of Queens jumped 8% to a 2.8. Warner Bros.’ Friends was unchanged at a 2.6.