Judge Judy took top honors in first-run syndication household ratings for the week ending September 18, and as usual Wheel of Fortune and Two and a Half Men topped her honor in viewership for the week.

We’ve entered the wacky time of year when Nielsen counts the local broadcast of the Monday Night Football games as syndicated shows and while it is syndicated to the local markets of the teams playing, Nielsen also includes the numbers from ESPN so MNF will always put them at the top of the list, pay no attention to them.

In the post-Oprah era, her doctors, Phil & Oz were the top two syndicated talk shows.

Please see notes below about changes to Nielsen syndicated show ratings measurement. The short version is that the change benefits shows with more than one daily telecast (Two and a Half Men, Judge Judy) and is a disadvantage (relative to the old measurement) for shows that only have one telecast per day (Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy).

Top 25 Syndicated Shows for the week ending September 25, 2011:

Rank Program Dist Day HH Rating Viewers (000)
2 JUDGE JUDY (AT) CTD MTWTF.. 6.7     9,080
4 TWO-HALF MEN-SYN (AT) WB MTWTF.. 6.5     9,742
5 JEOPARDY CTD MTWTF.. 5.4     8,124
6 BIG BANG-SYN (AT) WB MTWTF.. 4.5     6,775
7 FAMILY GUY-MF-SYN (AT) 2/T MTWTF.. 4.0     6,213
9 BIG BANG WKND B (AT) WB ……S 3.6     5,340
10 HOW I MET-MTHR-MF-SYN(AT) 2/T MTWTF.. 3.2     4,574
11 DR. PHIL SHOW (AT) CTD MTWTF.. 3.1     4,110
12 HOW I MET-MTHR-WK-SYN(AT) 2/T ……S 3.1     4,672
13 INSIDE EDITION (AT) CTD MTWTF.. 3.1     4,375
14 DR. OZ SHOW (AT) SPT MTWTF.. 3.0     4,024
15 BIG BANG WKND A (AT) WB ……S 2.9     4,380
16 CRIMINAL MINDS-SYN (AT) CTD ……S 2.8     3,983
17 FAMILY FEUD (AT) 2/T MTWTF.. 2.8     3,885
18 JUDGE JOE BROWN (AT) CTD MTWTF.. 2.8     3,655
19 LAW & ORDER-SYN (AT) NBU ……S 2.7     3,614
21 FUTURAMA-SYN (AT) 2/T …..SS 2.6     3,598
22 TWO-HALF MEN WKND B (AT) WB ……S 2.6     3,699
23 SEINFELD (AT) SPT MTWTF.. 2.5     3,632
24 MILLIONAIRE (AT) DAD MTWTF.. 2.5     3,411
25 MONK-SYN (AT) NBU ……S 2.4     3,384

Why Aren’t The Simpsons on This List?!

While The Simpsons repeats are available nationally its ratings are not counted in the weekly syndicated ratings because The Simpsons does not sell any national advertising in syndication.

Please note that the syndicated weekly results are delayed versus normal reporting.  While we get the broadcast and cable ratings for the prior Monday-Sunday period every Tuesday, there is an extra week of lag time with the syndicated ratings and these numbers are not for last week, but for the week before last.

More  disclaiming about recent measurement changes…

Note from Nielsen:

Previously for syndicated shows, we reported the AA (average audience) viewing averages rather than  the GAA (Gross Average Audience) viewing averages, but when Nielsen recently changed the standard reporting average audience metrics to include duplicate DVR viewing before 3am, they changed the syndicated averages as well.

Previously if someone in a Nielsen household watched Judge Judy the first time it aired and then watched the second syndicated episode, both times counted in the GAA numbers, but only one viewing counted in the average audience measure we reported. Now both viewings would count in the average audience number.

As a result, shows which previously had noticeably better GAA numbers than AA numbers are getting a boost.  That’s a relative advantage for shows that have multiple airings in syndication like Two and a Half Men and Judge Judy and a relative ranking disadvantage, relative to the old measurement methodology, for shows like Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy that only have one daily airing.

For syndicated shows which air on multiple days, the viewership shown is the average of all telecasts.

BUENA VISTA items are syndicated packages of old Disney movies.

DAD = Disney ABC Domestic Television, SPT= Sony Pictures Television, 2/T=Twentieth Television, ESP = ESPN, CTD = CBS Television Distribution.

AT = Additional Time/Telecasts, more than the typical number of episodes or time periods/week

Nielsen TV Ratings Data: ©2011 The Nielsen Company. All Rights Reserved.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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