In Depth

'Judy' Still Rules Court Show Ratings

Viewership Flat in Crowded Genre

Little growth has occurred year-to-year in the court genre, ratings-wise, as CBS Television Distribution’s “Judge Judy” continues to run roughshod over the rest of the courtroom programs in syndication.

“Judy” has posted a 4.4 Nielsen Media Research household rating so far this season, declining 8% from this time last year. Compared with the rest of the field, “Judy” is showing some of the least audience erosion.

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Also, “Judy” holds nearly a 100% advantage over the genre’s second-place competitor, CBS’ “Judge Joe Brown,” which has averaged a 2.3 household rating. “Brown” has slid 15% versus last year.

Counting ties, “Brown” has held the second-place spot in the genre for 517 weeks.

No shows in the genre have posted any gains from last year. Third-place “The People’s Court” from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution declined 13% to a 2.1 and fourth-place “Judge Mathis” from Warner Bros. dipped 18% to a 1.8.

Twentieth Television’s “Judge Alex” is in fifth place with a 1.6, followed by the distributor’s sixth-place “Divorce Court” at a 1.5, down 11% and 21%, respectively. “Divorce” is off the most of those entries in the genre that are still offering original episodes.

Twentieth’s “Cristina’s Court” is down 8% from last year to a 1.1, while Sony Pictures Television’s “Judge David Young” declined 11% to a 0.8 household rating.

Newer offerings from Sony and Program Partners are ranking low in the genre, as Sony Pictures Television’s “Judge Karen” is averaging a 1.0 household rating. Program Partners’ “Family Court With Judge Penny” is in last place, averaging a 0.6 rating.

In terms of new original daily syndicated offerings, “Judge Karen” is third out of six, beating “Judge Penny,” Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution’s “The Bonnie Hunt Show” and Debmar-Mercury’s “Trivial Pursuit: America Plays.”