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Syndication ratings: Cold Days Mean Hot Shows

Updated: Tuesday, Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m. ET

Coverage of CBS' Grammy Awards gave the top-tier syndicated entertainment magazines a big boost in the week ending Feb. 2, a week that included the first two weekdays of the February sweep, which runs Jan. 30 through Feb. 26.

Every show in the top five either set a new season high or at least matched its previous high. Every show also grew from last year at this time, despite the fact that levels of people using television (PUT) dropped by more than a million viewers week to week.

CBS Television Distribution's leader, Entertainment Tonight, hit a new season-high 4.1 live plus same day household rating, up 5% from the previous week and up 8% from last year. Warner Bros.' TMZ climbed 5% for the week and year to a new season-high 2.2. NBCUniversal's Access Hollywood was steady at its season-high 2.0 for a second straight week and improved 5% from last year. Warner Bros.' Extra advanced 6% to a new season-high 1.9, that show’s highest rating since March 2010. Extra also grew the most of any magazine since last year, gaining 19%. CTD's The Insider equaled its season high, rising 7% to a 1.6 and climbing 14% from last year.

Meanwhile, CTD's Inside Edition, which is not exclusively an entertainment magazine, was the only top-tier magazine to decline, falling 3% for both the week and the year to a 3.2.

Rounding out the category, MGM's viral-video series, RightThisMinute, which is adding a late-fringe run on HLN, was flat at a 1.3. Twentieth's sophomore Dish Nation faded 9% to a 1.0. Trifecta's America Now added a tenth of a ratings point to hit a new season-high 0.5. Trifecta's rookie OK! TV dropped from a 0.3 to a 0.2.

Elsewhere in access, the big game show movers were the Steve Harvey-hosted Family Feud, which hit a new season high and Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire, which suffered the category’s steepest loss.

CTD's game leader Wheel of Fortune was unchanged for the week at a 7.9, while CTD's Jeopardy! dipped 1% for the week to a 7.2. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud rose 3% to a 6.3, that show’s highest rating since at least 1988, when Nielsen first started using People Meters. On the other hand, Millionaire sank 12% from the prior session to a 2.2, losing 15% from last year at this time.

Turning to daytime, ratings for talkers and court shows were red hot.

CTD's Dr. Phil was the top talker for the fourth straight week and the 23rd time in the past 26 frames, surging 15% from the prior week and 22% from last year at this time to a 3.9, marking that show’s highest rating since the week of Sep. 12, 2011. In addition, Phil strengthened 15% among women 25-54 to a first place 2.3 in the key demo.

In second place, Disney/ABC's Live With Kelly and Michael jumped 6% to a 3.4 in households, matching its season high, and 12% among women 25-54 to a 1.9. Live! also shot up 21% from last year.

Hot on Live's heels, Warner Bros.’ Ellen landed a new series high, picking up 6% to a 3.3. Sony Pictures Television's Dr. Oz remained at a 2.4, that show’s second-highest rating of the season, while improving 7% among women 25-54 to a 1.5 in the demo. NBCU's Maury moved up 5% to a 2.3, matching its season high and finishing first among women 18-34 with a 1.3 in the demo.

NBCUniversal’s Steve Harvey had its best week ever, spiking 10% to a new series-high 2.2 in households and 17% among women 25-54 to a 1.4. Harvey also leaped 38% from last year, the most of any talk show.

Disney/ABC’s Katie, which won't return after this season, upticked 6% to a 1.9, but was still down 5% from last year.

CTD's Rachael Ray cooked up gains of 6% for the week and year to a 1.7, equaling its season high. NBCU's Steve Wilkos gained 7% to a 1.6, equalling its season high and tying Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which was the sole talker to buck the uptrend, slipping 6% for the week to a 1.6, but up 14% from last year at this time. 

NBCU's Jerry Springer held steady at its season-high 1.4, tying CTD's The Doctors, which strengthened 8% and matched its season high.

NBCU’s Trisha and Meredith’s The Better Show both were unchanged at a 0.6 and 0.2, respectively.

Among the rookies, SPT’s Queen Latifah jumped 8% to a 1.3, that show’s highest rating since its debut the week of Sept. 16. Warner Bros.’ Bethenny added 11% to a new season-high 1.0. CTD’s The Test was flat at a 0.7. In late night, CTD's Arsenio Hall held steady at a 0.7.

Elsewhere in daytime, all of the court shows hit new season highs.

CTD’s Judge Judy led the pack by more than six ratings points, hitting an 8.2, gaining 5% over the prior session and an 11% increase over last year at this time. Judy was the top-rated show in syndication for the 21st time in the past 23 weeks, including ties.

In second place, Warner Bros.’ People’s Court rallied 5% to a 2.1. Twentieth's Divorce Court added 5% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis gained 6% to a 1.9. Twentieth’s Judge Alex also increased 6% to a 1.8, that show’s highest rating in almost two years, since the week of Feb. 27, 2012. MGM’s Paternity Court trailed at a 1.2, but was still up 9% for the week.

Among the off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' The Big Bang Theory remained the leader, edging up 3% from the prior week, to a new season-high 6.9. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men picked up 2% to a 4.1. Twentieth's Family Guy and How I Met Your Mother and Warner Bros.' Friends all were flat at a 3.0, 2.3 and 2.0, respectively. SPT’s Seinfeld sank 10% to a 1.8, while its Rules of Engagement was unchanged at a 1.7. Twentieth’s King of the Hill dropped 6% to a 1.6.

Among the rookie sitcoms, Twentieth’s Modern Family was flat at a 5.1, remaining at its season high. Twentieth’s The Cleveland Show dropped 5% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.’ The Middle was flat at a 1.7. SPT’s Community held steady at its season-high 0.5.