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Syndication Ratings: ‘Doctors' Ahead of the Pack in Rookie Field During Sweeps

CTD's The Doctors has shown tremendous growth since its debut and now stands at the top of the rookie shows for the sweeps period which ran from Mar. 5-Apr. 1. Sweeps were delayed due to the expected DTV transition, which has now been pushed back from February to June. All of the following ratings are averages of the four week span.

The Doctors was up a huge 46% from its premiere to a 1.9 average over the four week period to lead the newcomers. Deal Or No Deal was second with a 1.7 average, up 6% from its debut. Warner Bros.' Bonnie Hunt moved into third place on the freshman list with a 1.0, leaping 25% from its premiere. Sony's Judge Karen was fourth with a 0.9, down 18% from where it started. Debmar-Mercury's Trivial Pursuit averaged a 0.6, unchanged. Program Partners' Family Court tallied a 0.5, 17% below its debut number.

As for the veterans, CBS Television Distribution's Oprah was once again the top talk show with a 5.4 average, increasing 10% from last March. CTD's Dr. Phil was second at 3.5, though that was down 17% from last year, it represented a sharp improvement from Phil's November sweep performance which was down 29% from November 2007. Disney/ABC's Live With Regis and Kelly slipped 4% from last year to a 2.6 average. Warner Bros.' Ellen Degeneres was up 10% to a 2.3. CTD's Rachael Ray and NBCU's Maury each dipped 5% to a 1.8. Warner Bros.' Tyra Banks held steady with last March at 1.1, tied with NBCU's Jerry Springer, which was down 8%, and Steve Wilkos (NBCU), who grew 22%. Twentieth's The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet dropped 10% to 0.9. NBCU's Martha Stewart fell 30% to 0.7.

Elsewhere in daytime, CTD's Judge Judy led the court shows at 4.4, although Judy dipped 6% from last March. Other court shows didn't fare any better. CTD's Judge Joe Brown took second at 2.2, dropping 12%. Warner Bros.' People's Court was next at 1.9, decreasing 17%. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis fell 20% to a 1.6. Judge Alex was next, down 12% to 1.5. Twentieth's Divorce Court fell 18% to 1.4. Christina's Court earned a 1.1, down 8%, and Judge David Young was unchanged at 0.8.

The game shows were all down from last year. CTD's Wheel of Fortune led at 7.2, falling 8% from last March. Jeopardy! (CTD) was off 6% to a 5.8. Disney/ABC's Who Wants To Be a Millionaire dropped 14% to a 2.4. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud sank 21% to 1.5.

Among the magazines, CTD's Entertainment Tonight topped the field for the 74th consecutive sweeps, with a 4.3, though that was down 2% from last year. CTD's Inside Edition finished second, slipping 6% to 3.0. TMZ (Warner Bros.') improved 5% to 2.3. NBCU's Access Hollywood had a 2.2, down 4%. CTD's The Insider slipped 14% to a 1.8 after getting hit with numerous March Madness preemptions. NBCU's Extra was up 6% to a 1.8.

In off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men was first with a 4.9 average, slipping 8%. Family Guy (Twentieth) was next at a 4.0, down 13%. Sony's Seinfeld fell 12% to 3.6. Everybody Loves Raymond (CTD) dropped off 16% to a 3.1. Warner Bros.' George Lopez fell 13% to 2.8, tying Sony's King of Queens, which was off 7%. Twentieth's King of the Hill bucked the downtrend and rose 17% to 2.7. Warner Bros.' Friends decreased 14% to a 2.5.