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Dr. Phil still tops as ratings settle

Dr. Phil is still showing strong numbers, and it remains the No. 2
syndicated talker behind Oprah, but the show is seeing slight ratings
slippage since its strong debut, according to national Nielsen Media Research
numbers for the week ending Oct. 6.

In its third week, Dr. Phil posted a 4.1 rating, down 2 percent from
its second week, in which Dr. Phil scored a 4.2. The show, which is
distributed by King World Productions and produced by Paramount Television, debuted with a 5.2
rating/16 share Sept. 16, according to Nielsen's monitoring of metered

Still, Dr. Phil's numbers are far above any other rookie talker, with
NBC Enterprises' The John Walsh Show down 8 percent to a 1.2 in its
fourth week, Warner Bros.' The Caroline Rhea Show holding steady at a
1.1, Tribune Broadcasting's Beyond with James Van Praagh down 10 percent to a 0.9
and Twentieth Television's The Rob Nelson Show flat at a 0.9.

Among the two new reality strips, Warner Bros.' Celebrity Justice,
cleared mostly in late nights, is holding its own with a 63 percent ratings
advantage over Paramount's Life Moments. Last week, Celebrity
was up 8 percent to a 1.3 while Life Moments was down 11
percent to a 0.8.

The two new game shows both are holding steady. Buena Vista Television's
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was flat with a 2.3, while Sony Pictures
Television's Pyramid was up 6 percent to a 1.8.

Among the new off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' Will & Grace is the
clear leader, up 3 percent to a 4.0 in its second week. The nearest
competitor, Carsey-Werner-Mandabach's That 70s Show, was down 11 percent to a 3.1 in
its third week. Twentieth's Dharma & Greg was down 8 percent in
its second week to a 2.3, while Twentieth's The Hughleys was flat at 1.3
in its third week.

Two new weekly hours debuted last week. Tribune's Adventure Inc.
opened with a 1.5 on 214 stations covering 95 percent of the country. And
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc./NBC Enterprises' off-net drama, Providence, premiered in syndication
with a 1.5 on 242 stations covering 88 percent of the country.

Among the other weekly hours, MGM/NBC Media Sales' She Spies was flat
with a 1.9 in its second week, as was Western International's Starhunter
with a 0.6 in its third week. The top syndicated weekly hour last week was
Paramount's ET Weekend, which scored a 3 percent bump to a 3.0.

Finally, in weekly half-hours, Sony's The Larry Sanders Show was down
19 percent to a 1.3 in its fourth week, while NBC Enterprises' The Chris
Matthews Show
was up 25 percent to a 1.0 in its third week.