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'Criminal Minds' is Syndication's New Top Weekly Hour

CBS Television Distribution's rookie weekly hour, Criminal Minds, jumped into the genre's top-spot
right off the bat, scoring a 2.9 live plus same day national household rating
according to Nielsen Media Research. That beat all other weekly hours over the
Labor Day holiday week that ended Sunday, Sept. 12.

The two previous leaders, CTD's CSI: New York and CSI: Miami,
each ended their broadcast runs, moving exclusively to cable.

NBC Universal's Law
& Order: Criminal Intent
took second place among the weekly hours with a
2.7, down 7% from the prior week. Another new entry, CTD's Numb3rs, was third, opening its season at a 2.0. Twentieth's Bones improved 6% to a 1.9 and NBCU's House, also climbed 6% to a 1.8.

Elsewhere during the week, some shows ran into preemptions due to coverage
of the U.S. Open Tennis tournament, early-season football and the 
annual Labor Day telethon to raise money for muscular dystrophy.

Top talker, CTD's Oprah,
climbed 7% from the prior week to a 3.2, although still down 27% from last year
at this time. The week ended Sept. 12 was the final week before the premiere of
Oprah's final season.

Disney-ABC's Live with
Regis and Kelly
grew 10% to a 2.3. Sony's Dr. Oz added 15% to a 2.3. CTD's Dr. Phil declined 5% to a 2.1, after jumping 16% in the prior
frame. NBCU's Maury fell 5% to a 1.9.
CTD's The Doctors gained 7% to a 1.5,
tying Warner Bros.' Ellen, which fell
6%. CTD's Rachael Ray gained 8% to a
1.4, tying NBCU's Jerry Springer, which was flat. NBCU's Steve Wilkos added 8% to a 1.3. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams improved 10% to a 1.1.

Court shows were mostly up. CTD's leader Judge Judy held steady at a 4.1, and gained
11% from last year. In second place, CTD's Judge
Joe Brown
increased 5% to a 2.1. Warner Bros.' People's Court grew 12% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis was up 6% to a 1.8. Twentieth's
Judge Alex advanced 15% to a 1.5,
while Twentieth's Divorce Court improved
8% to a 1.4. Warner Bros.' Judge Jeanine
trailed the field at an unchanged 1.1.

CTD's Entertainment
dipped 5% from the prior week, which was led by coverage of the 62nd
Primetime Emmys, to a 3.5. CTD's Inside
sank 11% to a new season low 2.4. Warner Bros.' TMZ climbed 12% to a 1.9. NBCU's Access Hollywood and CTD's The Insider held steady at a 1.7 and
1.5, respectively. Warner Bros.' Extra,
which was heavily preempted, dipped 6% to a 1.5, tying The Insider for last place. Extra
, meanwhile, soared 50% to a 1.2, equaling last season's highest
rating and improving by 33% over last year at this time.

Game shows were mostly down. CTD's Wheel of Fortune dropped 3% to a 5.6. CTD's Jeopardy! fell 6% to a 4.5. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire fell 9% to a 2.0. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud faded 6% to a 1.5. Twentieth's
Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader
was flat at a 1.2.

Off-net sitcoms were mixed. Warner Bros.' leader, Two and a Half Men, adding 2% to a
4.4. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond
and Twentieth's Family Guy each were
unchanged at a 3.0 to tie for second place. NBCU's The Office fell 4% to a 2.6. Disney-ABC's My Wife and Kids rose 9% to a 2.5. Sony's Seinfeld slipped 8% to a 2.4, tying Warner Bros.' George Lopez, which eased 4% to a 2.4. Twentieth's
King of the Hill was off 5% to a 2.1.
Warner Bros.' Friends was flat at a

Three more new first-run strips joined the pack on Monday, Sept.
20. Returning to the court room, Litton's Judge
, which has been resurrected after Sony's version went off the air last
year, averaged a 0.7/2 in 34 metered markets. That was even with its average
lead-in, and up 17% from its year-ago time period average.

In another jurisdiction, Entertainment Studios' America's Court with Judge Ross premiered
at a 0.4/1 in 25 markets, down 20% from its lead-in and down 33% from its
year-ago time period average.

Also starting Monday was Twentieth's game show, Don't Forget the Lyrics, which chimed in
with a 0.5/1, down 17% from both its lead-in and year-ago time periods.

The highest rated first run newcomer on Monday was CTD's Swift Justice with Nancy Grace, which
averaged a 1.3/4 for its primary runs, gaining a tenth of a rating point over
its first-week average, followed by Sony's Nate
, which held steady at a 1.2/4.

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.