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Up and Down Week for Syndie Shows

Michael Jackson’s upcoming trial and Amber Frey’s media tour helped to drive the top five magazine shows higher in the week ending Jan. 9, despite a 6% decline in viewership as people returned to work and school.

Most access strips performed well, but many daytime shows lost ground after recent gains.

Paramount’s rookie The Insider had its best week ever, cracking the 3-ratings barrier for the first time with a  new series-high 3.0 national household rating. The show was up 7% from the prior week.

Paramount’s Entertainment Tonight, the magazine leader, hit a new season-high 5.8, up 14% for the week and a 29% increase over the past two. Also scoring double-digits gains were King World’s Inside Edition in second place with a new season high 3.9, up 18%, and NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood in fourth place with a 2.8, up 17%. Warner Bros.’ Extra! clocked a 2.4, up 9%. Both Access Hollywood and Extra! equaled their previous season highs.

Elsewhere in access, Buena Vista’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire was the only game show to record a season high, a 3.9, peaking at a 4.1 on Jan. 6 and up 8% from the prior week. King World’s top game, Wheel of Fortune, spun a 9.5, up 10%, while Jeopardy! buzzed in with an 8.1, up 13%.

Off-net sitcoms were also strong. King World’s Everybody Loves Raymond led the field with a new season-high 7.8, up 20%. Sony’s Seinfeld was second, scoring a new season-high 6.9, up 17%.

In daytime, the highest rated court and talk shows bucked the general downtrend.

Paramount’s Judge Judy was the only first-run strip in daytime to hit a new season-high, and did so for the fifth time in the past 10 weeks, averaging a 5.5, up 6%. Meanwhile, Paramount’s Judge Joe Brown was the only other judge to avoid a ratings drop, remaining unchanged at its season-high 3.8, set the prior week.

In talk, King World’s Oprah Winfrey Show hit an 8.6, up 25% and easily topping the field. Oprah’s high-rated week included a two-part interview with Frey, the former mistress of convicted murderer Scott Peterson. King World’s Dr. Phil was a distant second with a 5.6, up 10%, while all the other vets declined.

Among rookies, The Insider was the only freshman to hit a new series high, but NBC U’s The Jane Pauley Show was up 6% to a 1.7, tying its best number.

Twentieth’s Malcolm in the Middle led the off-net rookies with a new series-high 3.6, up 16%. NBC’s Fear Factor was up 17% to a 2.1, tying its series high. Twentieth’s Yes Dear and Paramount’s Girlfriends were both unchanged at a 2.0 and a 1.6, respectively.

Paramount’s ET Weekend was the top first-run weekly hour, jumping 25% to a new season high 4.0 and pacing 21% ahead of last year at this time.

King World’s rookie CSI was the top off-net weekly hour with a 5.9, up 4%.