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Syndication Ratings: ‘Doctors,' ‘Wendy' Rise in Rookie Field

The top rookie shows were solid performers in the last week of July syndication ratings, with CBS Television Distribution's The Doctors leading
the field for the 28th straight week. The talker was up 6% to a 1.7,
its highest rating in seven weeks, and jumped 19% to a 1.9 for a repeat
of a show on silent health threats on Aug. 5.

NBCU's Deal Or No Deal was second, holding steady at a 1.4. In third place, Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams, one of the few syndicated daytime shows not in repeats, was up 11% to a 1.0. Sony's Judge Karen and Warner Bros.' Bonnie Hunt were flat at a 0.8 and a 0.7 respectively. Trailing the field were Debmar-Mercury's Trivial Pursuit, down 17% to a 0.5, and Program Partners' Family Court at a 0.4, down 20%, neither of which is expected to return next season.

In the battle between the newest syndication entries, Twentieth's Wedlock or Deadlockaveraged a 1.1/3 in its seven cities, after three weeks of its six-week test run. WendyWilliams managed a 0.9/3 in its 43 metered markets after four weeks.

Among the veteran talk shows, only two were up from the week before. Disney/ABC's Live With Regis and Kelly gained 4%, to a 2.6 and NBCU's Jerry Springer grew 8%, to a 1.3. CTD's Oprah dropped 5%, to a 3.6, and Dr. Phil (CTD) dipped 4%, to a 2.5, both with all repeat weeks. NBCU's Maury, CTD's Rachael Ray, Warner Bros.' Ellen, NBCU's Steve Wilkos and Warner Bros.' Tyra Banks were all flat, at a 1.8, a 1.6, a 1.6, a 1.1, and a 0.9, respectively. NBCU's Martha Stewart slipped 14%, to a 0.6

For the sixth consecutive week, CTD's Judge Judy beat Oprah for daytime leadership and had no trouble winning the court shows, despite being down 3%, to a 3.8. CTD's Judge Joe Brown, Warner Bros.' People's Court, and Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis were all flat, at a 2.0, a 1.7, and a 1.5, respectively. Twentieth's Judge Alex was up 8%, to a 1.4. Twentieth's Divorce Court, Christina's Court (Twentieth), and Sony's Judge David Young were unchanged, at a 1.2, a 0.7, and a 0.7, respectively.

Among magazines, CTD's Entertainment Tonight was down 3%, to a 3.9, though ET Weekend was up 19%, to a 1.9, with a show on the Michael Jackson investigation. CTD's Inside Edition fell 4% from the week before, to a 2.7. Warner Bros.' TMZ jumped 11%, to a 2.0. NBCU's Access Hollywood and CTD's The Insider were unchanged, at a 1.8 and a 1.7, respectively. Warner Bros.' Extra declined 6%, to a 1.5.

Game shows were mixed. CTD's Wheel of Fortune inched up 4%, to a 5.8. CTD's Jeopardy lost 2%, to a 4.8. Disney/ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was up 4%, to a 2.4. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud was flat, at a 1.4.

Off-net sitcoms were mostly higher than the previous week. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men gained 5%, to a 4.1. Twentieth's Family Guy added 3%, to a 3.6. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond was up 7%, to a 3.0. Sony's Seinfeld slipped 3%, to a 2.9. Warner Bros.' George Lopez grew 8%, to a 2.7. Twentieth's King of the Hill climbed 9%, to a 2.5. Sony's King of Queens was unchanged at a 2.3.