With less than one month to go until NATPE, VideoAge turned its attention to U.S. syndication — the belle of the ball at that particular market.

It seems that ratings for most syndicated shows were flat or down for the November Sweeps period (it ran from October 29-November 25).

Here’s how the ratings/sweeps work: The Nielsen Company measures local quarter-hour television viewing in TV homes across 210 markets. There are 56 metered markets – including 25 local people meter markets, and 154 diary-only markets. Survey dates include four major “sweeps” in February, May, July and November with additional survey periods for various markets. Local people meter markets have 12 survey periods per year.

But in November, due to coverage of terrorist attacks in Paris and baseball games, some shows (particularly the news magazines) were preempted.

Court shows were particularly strong.

Winners for this past November’s sweeps include stalwart CBS TV Distribution’s (CTD) Judge Judy (which celebrated 1,000 weeks at the top in early December) and CTD’s Hot Bench  — created by Judy herself — which hit new series highs throughout sweeps season.

Talk shows were mostly down.

CTD’s Dr. Phil was the top talk show over the whole sweeps period for the 12th consecutive time (it’s followed by Disney-ABC’s Live with Kelly and Michael, Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres, NBC Universal’s Steve Harvey and Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams).

When it comes to game shows, all were flat or down, except for Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud (Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy are number one and two but both saw ratings fall compared to last year’s November sweeps.)

Magazine shows were mostly down after being preempted in many markets by baseball and newscasts, but regained some ground on coverage of Charlie Sheen’s HIV admission.

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight led the category for the 100th sweep in a row, though its numbers were down from last year.

Warner Bros.’ The Big Bang Theory led off-net sitcoms and was the only one to see improvement. Modern Family, Two and a Half Men, Family Guy, Mike & Molly, How I Met Your Mother and The Cleveland Show all saw their ratings fall.

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