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Court shows strong as summer fades out

Court shows were the strongest genre in the week ending
Sunday, Aug. 29, as summer wound down and audience levels dropped by more than
two million viewers.

CBS Television’s Judge
improved 2% for the week and 14% for the year to a 4.2 live plus same
day average household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. That marks
the 22nd time in the last 24 weeks that Judy has been the number one first-run show in daytime syndication.

In second place, CTD’s Judge
Joe Brown
grew 5% to a 2.1, a rank he has held or tied for 608 consecutive
weeks or every week for nearly 12 years. Judge
also was up 14% from the prior week among women 18-49 and 22% among
women 25-54.

Warner Bros.’ People’s
held steady at a 1.8. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis added 7% to a 1.6. Twentieth’s Judge Alex and Divorce Court
each were even week to week at a 1.3 and 1.2, respectively. Warner Bros.’ Judge Jeannine Pirro gained 10% to a 1.1.
Litton’s Street Court, coming to the
end of its run, advanced 20% to a 0.6.

In contrast, talk shows were tepid. CTD’s Oprah fell to a 2.9, its lowest rating
in six weeks and just one-tenth of a point above its all-time low. The show was
down 3% week to week and 19% year to year.

Disney-ABC’s Live with
Regis and Kelly
slipped 5% to a new season low 2.1. NBCU’s Maury, passing Dr. Phil for third place among households and behind only Oprah among viewers, was flat at a 2.0. Dr. Phil, the only talker that gained in
the prior week, fell back down 5% to a 1.9 and slipped to fourth place. That
tied Sony’s Dr. Oz, which was unchanged
at a 1.9.

Warner Bros.’ Ellen
and CTD’s The Doctors
each were flat at a 1.5 and 1.4, respectively. NBCU’s Jerry Springer slid 7% to a 1.4, but improved 17% over the same
week last summer. CTD’s Rachael Ray
was steady at a 1.3. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos
declined 8% to a 1.2. Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy
climbed 11% to a 1.1. Warner Bros.’ Bonnie Hunt, nearing the end of its run, remained at a 0.6, while NBCU’s
Martha Stewart, who is ending her show
on broadcast and moving to Hallmark Channel, plunged 20% to a new season low

CTD’s Entertainment Tonight
topped the magazines, holding firm at a 3.4, despite being one of several
access shows to run into pre-season football preemptions in several large
markets on Aug. 27.

Meanwhile, the show’s weekend version, CTD’s ET Weekend, was the number-one first-run
weekend hour for the 397th time in the past 400 weeks with a 1.7, up
6% for the week and 21% for the year.

CTD’s Inside Edition
yielded 4% to a 2.6. Warner Bros.’ TMZ
rose 6% to a 1.8. NBCU’s Access Hollywood
also jumped 6% to a 1.7. CTD’s The
was unchanged at a 1.5, tying Extra,
which grew 7%.

Game shows were mixed. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune inched up 2% to a 5.8. CTD’s Jeopardy! recovered 4% from its season low in the prior week to a
4.9. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to be a Millionaire
slipped 4% to a 2.2. Debmar-Mercury’s Family
and Twentieth’s Are You Smarter
than a Fifth Grader
each were flat at a 1.5 and 1.2, respectively.

Warner Bros.’ Two and
a Half Men
continued to lead the off-net sitcoms, although it dipped 2% to
a 4.3. After three weeks of ties, CTD’s Everybody
Loves Raymond
finally stole second place from Twentieth’s Family Guy, and was unchanged at a 3.1. Family Guy slipped 3% to a 3.0 and third
place. NBCU’s The Office improved 4%
to a 2.8. Sony’s Seinfeld gained 4%
to a 2.6. Twentieth’s King of the Hill
and Warner Bros.’ Friends each were
flat at a 2.2 and 2.1, respectively. Warner Bros.’ George Lopez lost 17% to a new season low 2.0, tying CTD’s Everybody Hates Chris, which surged 25%.