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Summer brings syndie drops

Syndicated shows dropped significantly in the week ending June 1, as the May
sweep came to a close and viewers jumped to cable.

Households watching broadcast TV in most dayparts fell by an average of
543,000 viewers compared with the prior week, while cable-TV households rose by
an average of 1.971 million viewers.

Only a few talk shows and new first-runs bucked the downtrend, while none of
the major court, game, relationship, magazine or off-net-sitcom shows grew from the
prior week.

Universal Television's Crossing Over with John Edward had the biggest increase
for the week among the talkers, gaining 18% to a 1.3, its highest rating
in 13 weeks.

The only other veteran talk show that gained was Sony Pictures Entertainment's Ricki Lake,
which added 12% to 1.9.

Those losing ground included King World Productions' Oprah, down 5% to 6.0; Buena
Vista Television's Live with Regis & Kelly, down 8% to 3.6; Universal's
Maury, down 3% to 3.2; Universal's The Jerry Springer Show, down
4% to 2.5; and Paramount Television's Montel Williams, down 4% to 2.4.

The winners among the high-profile rookie strips included NBC Enterprises'
The John Walsh Show, which gained 8% to 1.4, and Warner Bros.'
recently renewed Celebrity Justice, which grew 8% to 1.3 in mostly
late-night slots.

On the downside, King World's top rookie, Dr. Phil, slipped 2% to 4.7;
Buena Vista's Who Wants to Ge a Millionaire dropped 6% to 3.0; and
Twentieth Television's Good Day Live lost 9% to 1.0. Sony's Pyramid was flat
at 1.9.

Elsewhere in daytime, Paramount's Judge Judy skidded 6% to 4.6.

Paramount's Judge Joe Brown also gave up 6% to 3.4, while Twentieth's
Divorce Court rounded out the top three with a 13% plunge to 2.7.

In access, the closest race remained the nip-and-tuck off-net-sitcom battle,
which went to Sony's Seinfeld, despite a 7% slide to 6.3.

Warner Bros.' Friends, which had been tied for the top spot last week,
sank 12% to 6.0 in second place. And King World's Everybody Loves Raymond
took an 11% hit to 5.5 in third.

Among relationships, Warner Bros.' Blind Date continued to lead with a
1.7, unchanged from last week.

Warner Bros.' elimiDate fell out of a tie for the top spot last week
with a 6% tumble to 1.6. And Warner Bros.' Fifth Wheel dived 14% to 1.2.

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.