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Syndication Ratings: Advice-Seekers Turn to 'Dr. Oz' as New Year Gets Underway

It was Dr. Oz's turn to be on top in the week ending Jan. 8, the first week of the New Year and primetime for the good doctor as viewers tune in for help with their health and fitness resolutions.

Sony's Dr. Oz hit a 3.0, according to Nielsen Media Research, to lead the talk bunch, up 3% for the week and marking the show's best performance since the week ending Oct. 16.

In second place, CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil, the season-to-date talk leader, added 7% to a 2.9. Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly dropped 7% to a third-place 2.7. NBCUniversal's Maury remained at its season-high 2.5, and was the leader among the key female demographics of women 18-34 and women 18-49. Warner Bros.' Ellen jumped 14% from its season low to a 2.4, while CTD's recently renewed Rachael Ray remained at its season high 1.8. NBCU's Jerry Springer, CTD's The Doctors, NBCU's Steve Wilkos and Sony's Nate Berkus all were unchanged at a 1.6, 1.5, 1.4, 1.1, respectively. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams jumped 22% to a 1.1, tying Berkus.

Among the first-run rookies, Warner Bros.' Anderson went into reruns, slipping 8% to a 1.2. Debmar-Mercury's Jeremy Kyle retreated 14% to a 0.6. Entertainment Studios' We the People was flat at a 0.5.

CTD's late-night dating show, Excused, aired repeats and dipped 14% to a 0.6.

Magazines gained for the week, profiting from coverage of Casey Anthony's video diary, which surfaced on Jan. 5. Anthony, who was acquitted last summer for the murder of daughter, Caylee, has been in secret seclusion since the end of her controversial and much-watched trial.

CTD's Entertainment Tonight improved 9% for the week to a 3.8, remaining the category leader. On Jan. 5, the day of the Anthony story, ET's ratings climbed 20% to a 4.2. ET Weekend also improved, jumping 11% to a new season high 2.0. CTD's Inside Edition perked up 3% to a 3.1. NBCU's Access Hollywood gained 6% in households to a 1.9 and 18% among women 25-54 to a 1.3. Warner Bros.' TMZ was flat at a 1.9, tying Access. Warner Bros.' Extra improved 7% in households to a 1.6 and 33% among women 18-49 to a 0.8. CTD's The Insider scored the biggest increase, adding 14% in households to a 1.6, tying Extra.

Sticking with access, game shows also were strong. CTD's Wheel of Fortune gained for the first week since Dec. 4, adding 12% to a 7.6 and the syndication lead. CTD's Jeopardy! also rebounded, tacking on 9% to a 6.2. Debmar Mercury's Family Feud and Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire each were flat at a 3.2 and 2.6, respectively.

Court shows, which were much watched over the holidays, fell back to earth as most shows returned to originals. CTD's Judge Judy eased 3% from its prior week season high to a 7.4. CTD's Judge Joe Brown was off 13% to a 2.8. Warner Bros.' People's Court and Twentieth's Judge Alex each were flat at a 2.3 and 1.8, respectively. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis fell 11% to a 1.7. Twentieth's Divorce Court faded 12% to a 1.5. CTD's Swift Justice backtracked 7% to a 1.3. Entertainment Studios' America's Court was flat at a 1.0.

Among the off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' red-hot rookie, The Big Bang Theory, remained the top off-net laffer, adding 3% to a new season-high 6.8. Warner Bros.' veteran Two and a Half Men spiked 14% to a new season-high 6.7, giving Bang a run for its money. Twentieth's Family Guy gained 11% to a 4.1, while Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother added 3% to a 3.5. Sony's Seinfeld slid 4% to a 2.6, tying CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond, which was flat. Warner Bros.' Friends fell 4% to a 2.3. Twentieth's King of the Hill was flat at a 2.0.

Among the freshman off-nets besides Big Bang, NBCU's 30 Rock added 8% in households to a 1.4 and 25% among women 18-34. Twentieth's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia lost 13% to a new season-low 1.1. Sony's ‘Til Death was unchanged at a 0.7.