Review based on a national syndicated rating report for the May 2019 sweep.
The national results of the May sweep (April 25 – May 22, 2019) are in and “Jeopardy!” savant James Holzhauer had no answer for Judge Judy (7.1 live plus same day Nielsen sweep average), which was the overall winner of the important spring survey period for the 10th year in a row. The “Judy” score was steady with last year and equaled the popular court show’s second-highest May rating in five years.
Ratings for Jeopardy! (7.0 sweep average, up 19% from last May) mushroomed at times to nuclear-grade levels not seen in more than a decade with phenom contestant James Holzhauer but finished second to syndication’s No. 1 show of the season. By the end of the sweep, the pro gambler from Las Vegas had already breezed through 25 consecutive “Jeopardy!” games, winning nearly $2-million.
Meanwhile the sweep average for “Judge Judy” was greater than the numbers for the four other nationally rated court shows combined and registered well above the “Jeopardy!” sweep episodes in which Holzhauer did not appear.
The talk show race was an easy victory for Dr. Phil (2.8, down 13%), which pulled in 3.8-million viewers each day on average in winning May for the eighth year in a row.
Live with Kelly & Ryan (2.2, up 5%) jumped into sole possession of second place, breaking a tie with “Ellen” last May.
Ellen DeGenres (2.0, down 5%) was third.
Wendy Williams (1.4, up 17%) and Steve Harvey’s Steve (1.2, steady) turned in powerful May performances. “Steve” was especially hot in No. 2 market Los Angeles where it saw an annual 13% spike and was the second-highest show in its time period, behind only veteran soap “General Hospital.”
Magazines were hit by a double whammy. Shows were boosted last May by extensive coverage of the Royal Wedding, while this year “Jeopardy!” with Holzhauer sucked up most of the ratings oxygen in its time slots.
Entertainment Tonight (2.8, down 7%) and Inside Edition (2.8, down 7%) tied at the top. Access (1.2, steady) grew year to year in numerous markets, including 8% in New York, 44% in Atlanta and 150% in Tampa, climbing into a tie with TMZ (1.2, down 8%).
Extra (1.0, down 9%) went head-to-head with Holzhauer, including in six of the top nine markets, but still managed double and triple digit May to May increases in numerous key cities, such as a 13% advance to a 4.4/7 in Providence.
Daily Mail TV (1.0, steady) in only its sophomore season saw plenty of large market growth over last May, tied “Extra,” and was renewed for year three.
Turning to the true crime genre, Dateline (1.3, up 8%) finished first with approximately 1.7-million daily viewers. Newcomer Chicago PD (1.0) also made a strong showing, vaulting 25% from its September debut.