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Access Shows Shine In Dark December Week

With the December days growing darker and colder, evening
shows such as magazines, game shows and off-net sitcoms all saw big gains in
the week ending Dec. 5.

Access magazines benefited from both darkness and drama,
with stories on actor Michael Douglas completing his treatment for throat
cancer and on the pending wedding of Price William and Kate Middleton driving
ratings. CBS Television Distribution's Entertainment
jumped 8% from the prior week to a 4.0 live plus same day household
ratings average, according to Nielsen Media Research. ET also was up 38% among women 18-34.

CTD's Inside Edition rebounded 20% from its prior week's
season low to a 3.0. NBC Universal's Access
improved 5% in households to a 2.0 and gained 8% among women 25-54.
Warner Bros.' TMZ climbed 12% to a
1.9. CTD's The Insider jumped 6% to a
1.8 in households and improved 25% among women 18-34. Warner Bros.' Extra, which was preempted on Nov. 30 in
several big markets including New York and Philadelphia due to coverage of the
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree lighting, was steady at a 1.6 in households,
but up 20% among women 18-34.

Most of the off-net sitcoms grew like gangbusters. Warner
Bros.' Two and a Half Men, which
added a cable run on FX in September and fell off during Thanksgiving week,
jumped 24% from the prior week to a new season-high 6.2. Twentieth's Family Guy climbed 28% to a new season-high

CTD's Everybody Loves
was off 3% to a 2.8, tying Disney-ABC's My Wife and Kids, which surged 40%, and Sony's Seinfeld, which improved 22%. NBCU's The Office climbed 20% to a 2.4. Warner Bros.' George Lopez upticked 5% to a 2.3. Twentieth's King of the Hill was even with the prior week at a 2.2. 

Game leader CTD's Wheel
of Fortune
rebounded 17% to a syndication-leading 7.4. CTD's Jeopardy! also rebounded, advancing 22%
to a new season-high 6.2. Disney-ABC's Who
Wants to be a Millionaire
was unchanged at a 2.2. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud, with new host Steve Harvey,
continued to improve, gaining 13% to a new season-high 1.8. Twentieth's Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader
faded 10% to a 0.9.

CTD's Judge Judy, last
season's daytime ratings champ, was up 5% from the prior week to a 4.6, beating
CTD's Oprah in daytime for the first
time since September. Oprah, mostly
in repeats, dropped 8% to a 4.5 after averaging a dominant 5.6 in the November

In second place, CTD's Judge
Joe Brown
held steady week to week at a 2.0. Warner Bros.' People's Court picked up 6% to a 1.9. Warner
Bros.' Judge Mathis advanced 7% to a
1.6. Twentieth's Divorce Court added
8% to a 1.3. Twentieth's Judge Alex
was flat at a 1.2. Warner Bros.' Judge
Jeanine Pirro
regained 11% to a 1.0.

Among talk shows, CTD's Dr.
, in second place, was the only strip to hit a new season high in the
prior week, giving back 13% to a 2.7. Disney-ABC's Live with Regis and Kelly and Warner Bros.' Ellen each were unchanged at a 2.6 and 2.4, respectively. Sony's Dr. Oz jumped 4% to tie Ellen. NBCU's Maury, CTD's The Doctors
and CTD's Rachael Ray all were flat
at a 2.0, 1.8 and 1.6, respectively, but Maury
was up 11% year to year, the biggest annual gain of any talker. NBCU's Jerry Springer added 8% to a 1.4. NBCU's
Steve Wilkos was flat at a 1.3 and Debmar-Mercury's
Wendy Williams sank 18% to a new
season- low 0.9.

Among the rookie first-runs, CTD's Swift Justice
with Nancy Grace
remained the leader, holding steady at a
1.3 with 1.77 million viewers. Twentieth's Don't
Forget the Lyrics
tied Sony's Nate
for the second week in a row at a 0.9, with Lyrics attracting more viewers, averaging 1.34 million viewers to Berkus' 1.18 million. Litton's Judge Karen's Court rose 17% to a 0.7,
while Entertainment Studios' America's
Court with Judge Ross
was flat at a 0.4.

Twentieth's How I Met
Your Mother
ruled the new off-net and off-cable strips with an 18% spike to
a new season-high 2.6. Warner Bros.' New
Adventures of Old Christine
added 8% to a new season high 1.4. Debmar-Mercury's
Meet the Browns remained at a 1.3. Disney-ABC's
Ugly Betty and Debmar-Mercury's E! True Hollywood Story both dropped 11%
to a 0.8. Warner Bros.' off-HBO Entourage
and Curb Your Enthusiasm continued to
tie at an unchanged 0.7, while NBCU's off-Bravo Real Housewives fell 17% to a 0.5.