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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.