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'Oprah' Returns, Strong As Ever

Oprah returned to
form in the first week of the show's 25th and last season, opening
with a 5.3 live plus same day household ratings average, a 66% improvement over
the show's final summer week of repeats.

That performance, which included a season-premiere episode awarding
300 people vacations to Australia, returned the show to the top of the daytime
pack. In the week-ended Sunday, Sept. 19, CBS Television Stations' Oprah was second only to CTD's Wheel of Fortune in all of syndication
among households. Oprah's return to
original episodes also allowed the talker to take the top daytime spot away
from CTD's top court show, Judge Judy,
for the first time in 17 weeks.

In second place, CTD's Dr.
marked his 60th birthday during that show's premiere week
and jumped 19% to a 2.5 in households and 22% among women 18-49.

Sony's Dr. Oz moved
into third place, gaining 4% to a 2.4, up a tenth from last year's rookie
premiere, and beating Disney's Live with
Regis and Kelly
, the genre's longtime third-place holder. Live was unchanged at a 2.3.

In fourth place, Warner Bros.' Ellen
surged 40% to a 2.1 for its opening week. NBCU's Maury, which shines brightest in the
summer months, was flat at a 1.9. CTD's The
grew 7% to a 1.6 among households and improved 17% among women 18-49. CTD's Rachael Ray was flat at a 1.4. NBCU's Jerry Springer slipped 7% to a 1.3,
tying its own spin-off, NBCU's Steve Wilkos, which was
unchanged at a 1.3. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy
was last among the veterans, dropping 9% to a 1.0.

Among the rookies, CTD's Swift
Justice with Nancy Grace
had the highest-rated court show debut since
Twentieth's Judge Alex premiered in 2005, scoring a 1.4 and 1.7 million
viewers. That's 40% higher than the 1.0 premiere for Oprah spin-off Nate Berkus.

Among the new off-net and off-cable sitcoms, Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother pulled a 2.1, including
its run on Lifetime, making it the highest-rated first-run or off-net rookie. Warner
Bros.' New Adventures of Old Christine
earned a 1.3, while Warner Bros.' off-HBO Entourage
and Curb Your Enthusiasm and Disney-ABC's
one-hour off-net Ugly Betty all
debuted at a 0.7.

NBCU's off-Bravo reality strip Real Housewives opened with a 0.5. Debmar-Mercury's E! True Hollywood Story, which will
appear on the national charts next week, earned a 0.3/1 for the week of Sept.
20 in the metered markets.

Another round of first-run shows launched on Sept. 20, with Litton's
Judge Karen opening with a 0.7/2
weighted metered market average. Entertainment Studios' America's Court with Judge Ross premiered at a 0.5/2, tying Twentieth's
Don't Forget the Lyrics. Entertainment
Studios' late entry, Gossip Queens, a
talk panel featuring comedians talking about the pop-culture news of the day, began
at a 0.4/2.

NBCU's slow roll-out Access
Hollywood Live
, a daytime news magazine that began on Sept. 13, dipped
one-tenth of a point to a 0.7/3 in its second week in 13 markets. The show improved
time periods in every key female demographic, gaining 43% among women 18-34,
29% among women 18-49 and 36% among women 25-54.

Program Partners' Canadian import, Steven and Chris, cleared in 40% of the country, averaged a 0.1/0
in its second week on the air, even with its premiere.

Back in the national ratings, Judge Judy was the only court show to improve from the prior week,
moving up 5% to a 4.3 and up 10% over last year at this time.

CTD's Judge Joe Brown
dipped 5% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.' People's
was flat at a 1.9. Warner Bros.' Judge
fell 6% to a 1.7. Twentieth's Judge
lost 13% to a 1.3. Twentieth's Divorce
eroded 14% to a 1.2. And Warner Bros.' Judge Jeanine Pirro trailed, sliding 9% to a 1.0.

Among magazines, NBCU's Access
was most improved, spiking 12% to a 1.9 and third place overall. The
show also increased 33% and 25% among women 18-34 and 18-49 respectively. Its weekend
companion show Access Hollywood Weekend rocketed89% from the prior week and 70% from
last year to a 1.7, the show's highest rating in three and a half years.

CTD's Entertainment Tonight
remained number one, gaining 3% to a 3.6. CTD's Inside Edition recovered from a prior-week season low to climb 13%
to a 2.7. Warner Bros.' TMZ was the
only magazine to decline, falling 5% to a 1.8. CTD's The Insider improved 7% to a 1.6. Warner Bros.' Extra, now shooting from Hollywood's The
Grove shopping complex, was flat at a 1.5.

Game shows were mixed. CTD's Wheel of Fortune accelerated 5% to a 5.9 to top all of syndication,
while CTD's Jeopardy! grew 13% to a
5.1. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be
advanced 5% to a 2.1. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud, with new host Steve Harvey, fell 7% to a 1.4. Twentieth's
Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader descended
to a new all-time low 1.0, declining 17%.

Warner Bros.' Two and
a Half Men
led the off-net sitcoms, leaping 18% to a 5.2, with a run
starting on FX. Twentieth's Family Guy
faded 7% to a 2.8, but regained sole possession of second place in the genre. CTD's
Everybody Loves Raymond dropped 10%
to a 2.7. Disney-ABC's My Wife and Kids
rose 4% to a 2.6. NBCU's The Office descended
4% to a 2.5. Sony's Seinfeld was flat
at a 2.4. Disney-ABC's George Lopez
skidded 8% to a 2.2. Twentieth's King of
the Hill
was unchanged at a 2.1.