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Advice-Seekers Seek 'Dr. Oz' In New Year

As daytime viewers prepped their New Year's resolutions, Sony's Dr. Oz drew advice-seeking viewers, gaining 18% in the week ended Jan. 2 to hit a new season-high 2.6 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. Those are Oz's best ratings since March 2010.

In general, people turned to talk in the holiday week. CBS Television Distribution's Oprah, in almost all originals for the week, also capitalized on the huge increase in levels of people using television, regaining almost all the ground the show had lost over the past two weeks of repeats with a 26% rebound to a 4.4. (Oprah's ratings for Friday, Dec. 31, were broken out from the show's weekly average.)

Disney-ABC's Live with Regis and Kelly improved 4% to a 2.9. Dr. Oz's performance gave him a rare third-place finish in talk, beathing CTD's Dr. Phil, which jumped 9% to a 2.5 in repeats. NBC Universal's stalwart, Maury, also hit a new season high, advancing 10% to a 2.3. Warner Bros.' Ellen DeGeneres rose 5% to a 2.1. CTD's The Doctors was steady at a 1.8, while the distributor's Rachael Ray, in reruns, dropped 6% to a 1.6. NBCU's Jerry Springer improved 7% to a 1.5, while Springer spin-off Steve Wilkos climbed 8% to a 1.4. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams added 11% to a 1.0.

Court shows also performed well during the holiday week, with every show seeing an increase. CTD's Judge Judy, in repeats, remained on top, gaining 5% to a 4.3. CTD's Judge Joe Brown was up 5% to a 2.1. Warner Bros.' People's Court climbed 11% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis jumped 13% to a 1.7. Twentieth's pair of Divorce Court and Judge Alex each added 8% to tie at a 1.4. Warner Bros.' Judge Jeanine Pirro leaped 22% to a 1.1.

Magazines also were strong, with only one show declining on the week. CTD's Entertainment Tonight led the magazines with an 18% increase from the prior week to a 4.0. In second place, Inside Edition improved 8% to a 2.8. CTD's The Insider rallied 13% to move into a third-place tie with Warner Bros.' TMZ, which gained 6% to hit a 1.8. Insider also was the only magazine up from last year at this time, improving 6%. In turn, Access Hollywood dipped 6% to a 1.7. Warner Bros.' Extra, which was knocked off the air in New York City on Dec. 27 in favor of blizzard coverage, was up 7% to a 1.6.

Continuing in access, CTD's leader Wheel of Fortune upticked 3% to a 6.9. CTD's Jeopardy! answered with a 4% gain to a 5.7. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire added 5% to a 2.3. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud continued its rise, gaining 6% to a new season-high 1.9. Twentieth's Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader tacked on 10% to a 1.1.

Speaking of game shows, an off-GSN dating show starring Jerry Springer, Baggage, began a ten-market test run on Monday, Jan. 10. The show averaged a 0.9 rating/2 share after its first two days, down 10% from its lead-in of 1.0./2 and off 25% from its January 2010 time period of 1.2/3.

Among off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men rebounded 4% to a 5.5, making it one of the few sitcoms to improve on the week. Twentieth's Family Guy slipped 8% to a 3.6. Disney-ABC's My Wife and Kids was flat at a 3.0, tying CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond which dipped 3%. Sony's Seinfeld lost 4% to a 2.5. Warner Bros.' George Lopez declined 15% to a 2.3. NBCU's The Office was down 4% to a 2.2. Twentieth's King of the Hill faded 9% to a new season-low 2.0. Warner Bros.' Friends was unchanged at a 1.9.

Among the rookie first-run shows, CTD's Swift Justice with Nancy Grace had its best week since its September debut, growing 8% to a 1.4 in households and 29% among women 25-54 to a 0.9, despite being in reruns all week. In second place, Sony's Nate Berkus was flat at a 1.0. Twentieth's Don't Forget the Lyrics fell back to third place, losing 10% to a 0.9. Litton's Judge Karen's Court, renewed for next season, improved 17% to a 0.7. Entertainment Studios' America's Court with Judge Ross remained flat at a 0.4.

Among the new off-net and off-cable strips, Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother stayed atop the pack, although the show dropped 4% to a 2.4. Warner Bros.' The New Adventures of Old Christine and Debmar-Mercury's Meet the Browns each were unchanged at a 1.4. Debmar-Mercury's E! True Hollywood Story surged 25% to a 1.0. Disney-ABC's Ugly Betty and Warner Bros.' off-HBO Entourage each were flat at a 0.8 and 0.7, respectively. Warner Bros.' Curb Your Enthusiasm was curbed 14% to a 0.6, while NBCU's off-Bravo Real Housewives continued to be  flat at a 0.5.