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Syndication Ratings: Boston Bombings Draw Attention Away From Syndies

Wall-to-wall news coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings and the ensuing manhunt meant it was a slow week for syndies, in the week ended April 21, four days prior to the start of the May sweep on April 25.

The magazines, however, were mostly up or flat, with several shows covering the event from a Hollywood perspective.

CBS Television Distribution's Entertainment Tonight gained 3% from the previous frame to a 3.6 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. CTD's Inside Edition also added 3% to hit a 3.0. NBCUniversal's Access Hollywood gained the most in the category, advancing 6% to a 1.8 to tie Warner Bros.' TMZ. TMZ, not a traditional magazine, fell 10% for the week. Warner Bros.' Extra was flat for the week at a 1.5, but was the only magazine to improve year to year, adding 7%. CTD's omg! Insider held steady at a 1.4, while Twentieth's rookie, Dish Nation, trailed at a 1.0, down 9% from the previous week's 1.1.

Among the talkers, only Disney-ABC's rookie, Katie, improved for the week, adding 6% to a 1.8, the show's highest rating since the week of March 4.

Meanwhile, the other ten talkers were down, while six were flat.

NBCUniversal's second-place rookie, Steve Harvey, declined 7% to a 1.4, and the other talk newcomers all were flat, with NBCU's Trisha at a 0.5, and CTD's and Twentieth's soon-to-depart Jeff Probst and Ricki Lake both at 0.6.

CTD's talk leader, Dr. Phil, dipped 3% from the prior week to a 2.8. Phil also topped daytime's key demographic of women 25-54 at a steady 1.7.

Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly and Michael and Warner Bros.' Ellen DeGeneres tied for second place at a 2.4. Live! declined 4% for the week but gained 4% for the year, while Ellen was steady for the week and up 14% from last year, talk's biggest year-to-year gain.

Sony Pictures Television's Dr. Oz, in fourth place, dipped 4% to a 2.2.

NBCU's Maury backtracked 14% to hit a new season-low 1.9, while CTD's Rachael Ray retreated 7% to a 1.4. NBCU's Jerry Springer also dropped 7% to a 1.3. NBCU's Steve Wilkos, like Maury, yielded 14% to also hit a new season-low 1.2, tying CTD's The Doctors, which slipped 8%, and Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams, which was flat.

Warner Bros.' Anderson Live fell 22% to a new series-low 0.7. Similarly, Debmar-Mercury's Jeremy Kyle came in last at a flat 0.4. Neither show will return next season.

CTD's Judge Judy continued to preside over the court shows despite easing 7% from the prior week to a 6.2. Twentieth's Judge Joe Brown, which is out of production and won't return this fall, sank 9% to a new season-low 2.0. Warner Bros.' People's Court was flat at a 1.6, while Judge Mathis rose 7% to a 1.5. Twentieth's Divorce Court dropped 8% to a 1.2, while Judge Alex tumbled 15% to a new season low 1.1. Entertainment Studios' America's Court eroded 14% to a 0.6, while its freshman, Justice for All, and sophomore, We the People, both were flat at a 0.4 and 0.2, respectively.

Game shows also were mostly down. CTD's leader Wheel of Fortune skidded for the fourth week in row, dropping 4% to a 6.5, still good enough to top all of first-run syndication. CTD's Jeopardy! weakened 5% from the previous session to a 5.7. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud faded 4% to a 4.3. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire lost 13% to a 2.1., while NBCU's rookie Baggage bounced back 10% from a series low in the prior week to a 1.1.

Warner Bros.' The Big Bang Theory cooled off 10% to a 6.6, but remained the overall syndication leader. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men, recently renewed on CBS for its 11th season, recovered 2% from its season low in the prior week to a 4.6. Twentieth's Family Guy gave back 3% to a 3.5. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother moved up 4% to a 2.5. Twentieth's King of the Hill dropped 4% to a 2.3. SPT's Seinfeld stayed at a 2.1. Warner Bros' Friends finished 5% lower at a 2.0, while CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond remained at a 1.9.

Updated Tuesday, April 30 at 12: 59 pm PT