Syndicated Shows Endure Viewership Drop

With half the 2018-2019 U.S. syndication TV season completed, viewership for top shows has declined by mid-single-digit percentages versus a year ago -- similar to the declines of broadcast and cable TV network programming drops.

CBS Television Distribution’s “Judge Judy” slipped 1% to 10.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen live program plus time-shifted viewing from September 3, 2018 through March 3, 2019.

Three game shows placed just behind “Judy” also declined slightly -- CBS’ “Wheel of Fortune” losing 1% to 10.1 million; CBS’s“Jeopardy” down 2% to 9.8 million; and Twentieth Television’s “Family Feud” falling 6% to 9.6 million.

Top entertainment magazines were down a bit more: CBS’ “Inside Edition” was 2% lower to 4.5 million; CBS’ “Entertainment Tonight” down 6% to 4.3 million; NBCUniversal’s “Access Hollywood” giving up 10% to 1.78 million; and Warner Bros. “TMZ” off 14% to 1.76 million.



Off-networks sitcoms were in mostly double-digit percentage drops: Top show “Big Bang Theory” from Warner Bros. losing 11% to 7 million; Twentieth’s “Modern Family” down 20% to 3 million; and Sony Pictures Television’s “The Goldbergs” with 18% lower, at 2.2 million.

One of the few syndicated TV shows overall to see gains this period, Twentieth’s “Last Man Standing,” was 35% higher to 3.4 million. Fox broadcast network revived the show this 2018-2019 season -- after a ABC run from 2011-2017  -- with new original episodes.

Three big talk shows were also down: CBS’ “Dr. Phil” lost 15% to 4 million; Disney-ABC Domestic Television’s “Live with Kelly and Ryan” was 6% down to 3.0 million; and Warner Bros. “Ellen DeGeneres” at 8% lower to 3.1 million.

Overall U.S. syndication programming declined a collective 14% in total viewers when looking at 113 measured syndicated Nielsen shows — compared to 124 shows of a year ago.

This is similar to the 12% to 14% declines broadcast and cable TV networks programming have seen this season, with it comes to similar Nielsen measures.

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