Review based on a national syndicated rating report for the full February 2019 sweep.
The national results of the February 2019 sweeps (January 31 – February 27) are out and Judge Judy (7.8 live plus same day national Nielsen rating sweep average) outperformed all of syndication in the household ratings by the widest February margin in the show’s 23-year history.
“Judy” slammed its closest rivals – access game shows Family Feud (6.7 average), Jeopardy (6.7 average) and Wheel of Fortune (6.7 average) – by more than a full point and steamrollered the more than 100 other syndies, matching its third highest February rating in ten years. In addition “Judge Judy” marked its 11th first place finish overall in the past 12 major sweeps and was the rating period’s most watched program with an average audience of more than 11-million total viewers each day.
Hot Bench (2.5 average) was the sweep’s second highest courtroom program and third highest daytime strip overall, behind only “Judy” and “Dr Phil.”
The talk show race was won by Dr. Phil (3.2) for the 22nd consecutive major sweep, easily topping the gabfests in February for the eighth year in a row while drawing a crowd of approximately 4.4-million daily viewers.
Live with Kelly and Ryan (2.3) climbed into a tie for second place with Ellen DeGeneres (2.3) after finishing behind “Ellen” last February.
Maury (1.5) and Steve Harvey’s Steve (1.4) rounded out the sweep’s top five of the 14 nationally rated talkers. However, “Steve” was the sole talker in the top seven to hold 100% of both its household and W25-54 demo ratings from last year.
Among magazines Inside Edition (3.2) and corporate sibling Entertainment Tonight (3.2) battled to a draw although “ET” rose 16% from last year in the key New York market on WCBS-TV. Access (1.4) tied TMZ for the number three spot, while Daily Mail TV (1.1) jumped 17% in New York on WPIX-TV and 13% in Los Angeles on KTLA to tie “Extra” nationally.
Turning to true crime Dateline (1.4) was the highest rated show of all in the genre, with top market increases of 100% in New York and 50% in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, scripted newcomer Chicago PD (1.0) heated up, growing 25% from its September debut.