Syndication Ratings: Dr. Phil Gets Big Lift from ‘Octomom'

Dr. Phil and Oprah were the big winners of the week in syndication ratings ending March 1, the last full week before March sweeps. CTD's Dr. Phil was the only show in syndication to hit a new high. His program was up 14% to a 4.1 thanks to a two part interview with the "Octomom" Nadia Suleman. The first installment of the interview ran on Feb. 25 and boosted ratings by 31% to a 4.7. Part II jumped 42% from the week before to a 5.1 on Feb. 26. That episode gave the show time period wins in 30 of the top 40 markets.

CBS Television Distribution's Oprah Winfrey was also red hot for the week with a 22% gain to a 5.6. In third place among talk shows was Dinsey/ABC's Live with Regis and Kelly, which hit a new season low 2.4, down 11%. Close behind was Warner Bros.' Ellen, slipping 4% to a 2.2. CTD's Rachel Ray held steady at a 1.8. NBCU's Maury slid 16% to a 1.6. NBCU's Jerry Springer was down 8% to a 1.1. Warner Bros.' Tyra Banks dropped 9% to a 1.0. NBC's Steve Wilkos and Twentieth's the Morning Show with Mike and Juliet were flat at 1.0 and 0.9 respectively. NBC's Martha Stewart slipped 13% to a 0.7.

In magazine shows, ET and Access Hollywood bucked the general down-trend with high ratings for next-day coverage of the Feb. 22 Oscars. ET (CTD) was up 2% to a 4.6 after getting a 13% boost to a 5.1 for its Academy Award coverage on Feb. 23. CTD's Inside Edition was down 6% to a 3.1. Warner Bros.' TMZ fell 4% to 2.2. NBCU's Access Hollywood rose 5% to a 2.1. CTD's The Insider held steady at 2.0. Extra slipped 6% to a 1.7.

In the rookie race, CTD's The Doctors was on top with a 1.9, the sixth week in a row the show was first or tied for first. Deal or No Deal was second with a 1.7, down 11%. Warner Bros.' Bonnie Hunt had a 1.0, rising 11%. Sony's Judge Karen fell 10% to a 0.9, and Trivial Pursuit (Debmar-Mercury) and Program Partner's Family Court remained unchanged at 0.6 and 0.5 respectively.

Among the court shows, CTD's Judge Judy was down 2% to a 4.5. CTD's Judge Joe Brown was second at a 2.2. Brown was down 8% for the week but was still 20% higher than number three People's Court (Warner Bros.') which fell 10% to a new season-low 1.8. Next was Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis unchanged at 1.6. Twentieth's Judge Alex dropped 6% to a 1.5 and Twentieth's Divorce Court and Christina's Court, and Sony's Judge David Young were all unchanged at 1.3, 1.1, and 0.8 respectively.

In game shows, Disney/ABC's Who Wants To Be a Millionaire remained at its season-low 2.4 for the third straight week. Wheel of Fortune (CTD) topped the list but was down 1% to a 7.5. Jeopardy (CTD) fell 2% to a 6.2. The biggest drop among game shows was Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud, which lost 13% to a 1.4.

In off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men continued to lead with a 5.1, falling 7%. Twentieth's Family Guy and Sony's Seinfeld were next, unchanged at 4.1 and 3.8 respectively. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond dipped 3% to a 3.3. Warner Bros.' George Lopez was up 7% to a 2.9. Sony's King of Queens was flat at a 2.7. King of the Hill (Twentieth) and Friends (Warner Bros.) each slipped 4% to 2.6.

Weekly action hour Disney/ABC's Legend of the Seeker was up 6% to 1.8. The off-cable Storm Stories fell 19% to a 1.3, and the off-TBS strip House of Payne fell 11% to a 2.4.