Syndication Ratings: 'Deal or No Deal' Rises, 'Millionaire' Struggles

Deal Or No Deal (NBCU) rose back to the top of the freshman ranks for the first time in four weeks in the syndication ratings for the week ending Feb. 22. The show increased by 6% to a 1.9 and is now tied with The Doctors which was unchanged. Elsewhere in game shows, Who Wants To Be a Millionaire remained at its season-low 2.4 and is down 17% in season-totals from last year.

CTD's The Doctors continues to do well with a strong week upcoming. The episode that aired March 2 gave the show its best numbers yet in overnights, averaging a 2.6/7 in metered markets. That 2.6/7 is 30% higher than its average lead in and 44% higher than the year-ago time period average. Among the other newcomers, Sony's Judge Karen is now in third place with an 11% increase to a 1.0 which pushes Warner Bros.' Bonnie Hunt back down to fourth place with an unchanged 0.9. Karen and Bonnie had been tied last week and Bonnie had led for the two weeks prior. In fifth, Debmar-Mercury's Trivial Pursuit was flat at 0.6 for the fourth week in a row. Program Partner's Family Court was next, flat at a 0.5 for the fifth week in a row.

Talk shows performed well on the week with six shows increasing their numbers. Oprah (CBS Television Distribution), at the top, inched up 2% to a 4.6. Second place Dr. Phil (CTD) dipped 3% to a 3.6. Disney/ABC's Live with Regis and Kelly was up 4% to a 2.7. Warner Bros.' Ellen Degeneres was unchanged at a 2.3. NBCU's Maury gained 6% to a 1.9. Rachael Ray (CTD) also gained 6% to a 1.8 and got a ratings bump from an appearance by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey, who sent ratings on Feb. 17th up 12% to a 1.9, her best number of the week. NBCU's Jerry Springer was flat at a 1.2. Warner Bros.' Tyra Banks grew 10% to a 1.1. Tyra's best performance came with a show featuring the Secret Life of the American Teenager on ABC Family, which sent ratings up 30% from the week before to a 1.3 on Feb. 16th. NBC's Steve Wilkos and the Morning Show with Mike and Juliet (Twentieth) were both flat at a 1.0 and 0.9 respectively. NBC's Martha Stewart improved 14% to a 0.8 and she also got a ratings boost from a chef, Emeril Lagasse. His visit on Feb. 16 resulted in a 29% ratings increase to a 0.9 for the day.

Only two court strips grew from the week before. The biggest gainer was CTD's Judge Joe Brown, lifting 9% to a 2.4 in second place after getting an 18% jump to a 2.6 on Feb. 16 (President's Day). The top court show remains CTD's Judge Judy which held steady at a 4.6 and tied Oprah as the highest-rated show in daytime. That marks two weeks in a row that Judy was at the top or tied for the lead among all daytime shows. In third place was Warner Bros.' People's Court which was up after hitting a new low the week before. The show recovered 5% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis and Twentieth's Judge Alex were both flat at 1.6. Divorce Court (Twentieth) decreased 7% to a 1.3. Twentieth's Christina's Court and Sony's Judge David Young were both unchanged at a 1.1 and a 0.8 respectively.

In game shows, Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud fared very well, up 14% to a new season high 1.6. CTD's Wheel of Fortune gained 3% to a 7.6. CTD's Jeopardy inched up 2% to 6.3. Disney/ABC's Who Wants To Be a Millionaire remained at its season-low 2.4. The long-running strip has been at its weekly season low four times in the last five weeks.

In magazines, Entertainment Tonight (CTD) was the top-rated show, holding steady with a 4.5. CTD's Inside Edition rose 6% to a 3.3. In third and fourth place was Warner Bros.' TMZ and CTD's the Insider which were both unchanged at 2.3 and 2.0 respectively. NBCU's Access Hollywood was down 9% to a 2.0, finishing in a tie with the Insider. Extra increased 6% to a 1.8 but still finished last.

In off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men climbed 4% to a 5.5. Twentieth's Family Guy was flat at a 4.1. Seinfeld (Sony) rose 6% to a 3.8. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond earned a 3.4, lifting 3%. Warner Bros.' George Lopez was down 7% to a 2.7 and finished in a four way tie for fifth place with Sony's King of Queens, Twentieth's King of the Hill (both unchanged) and Warner Bros.' Friends (4% increase). Twentieth's House of Payne, off-TBS, was up 8% from the week before to a new season-high 2.7.

Weekly action hour Disney/ABC's Legend of the Seeker decreased 11% to a 1.7.