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Syndication Ratings: 'Dr. Phil' Still in Good Health

CTD's Dr. Phil had the biggest increase of any strip in first-run for the week ending Mar. 29, gaining 16% from the week before to a 3.6. What made it all the more impressive was that the gains came despite the fact that Phil was heavily pre-empted by March Madness basketball coverage. The show did not air in 7 of the top 20 markets including Los Angeles on Mar. 26 and 27.

Elsewhere in daytime talk, CBS Television Distribution's Oprah was up 8% to a 5.3. Disney/ABC's Live with Regis and Kelly also added 8% to 2.8. Warner Bros.' Ellen Degeneres gained 5% to 2.3 after a show with Noah Wyle talking about the ER finale hit a 2.4. CTD's Rachel Ray rose 6% to 1.8 with a boost of 18% to 2.0 with an appearance by Joy Behar from the View on Mar. 27. NBCU's Maury was unchanged at 1.8. Warner Bros.' Tyra Banks matched its season-high with a 9% gain to a 1.2. She hit a peak for a show about a mother trying to leave her X-rated lifestyle on Mar. 25 which pushed ratings up 18% to 1.3. NBCU's Steve Wilkos jumped 9% to 1.2 and equaled his season-high. Jerry Springer (NBCU), the Morning Show with Mike and Juliet (Twentieth), and Martha Stewart (NBCU), were all unchanged at 1.1., 0.9, 0.7 respectively.

It was also a good week for court shows with five shows increasing their week-by-week numbers. CTD's Judge Judy continued to lead the field, up 7% to 4.4. Her most-watched case of the week involved a child custody battle between a 21 year-old mother battling a 53 year-old father on Mar. 23 which sent ratings up to a 4.7. CTD's Judge Joe Brown rose 5% to a 2.3. Warner Bros.' People's Court was flat at 2.0. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis rose 6% to 1.7. Twentieth's Divorce Court was steady at 1.4. Christina's Court climbed 10% to 1.1. Judge David Young was unchanged at 0.8.

In the rookie race, CTD's The Doctors was on top for the tenth week in a row with a 6% improvement to 1.9. Deal Or No Deal was a close second, gaining 6% to 1.8. Warner Bros.' Bonnie Hunt was up 11% to 1.0. Judge Karen (Sony), Trivial Pursuit (Debmar-Mercury), and Family Court (Program Partners), were all flat at 0.9, 0.6, and 0.5 respectively.

In access, CTD's Entertainment Tonight topped the magazines with a 4.3, though it was down 2% from the week before. CTD's Inside Edition was unchanged at 2.9. Warner Bros.' TMZ was up 5% to 2.3. NBCU's Access Hollywood and Extra were unchanged at 2.2 and 1.8 respectively. CTD's The Insider dropped off 16% to 1.6 after being heavily pre-empted by NCAA basketball.

Game shows increased slightly with CTD's Wheel of Fortune edging up 1% to 7.3. CTD's Jeopardy gained 4% to 5.7. Disney/ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire also inched up 4% to 2.4 after dropping to a new season-low the week before. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud stayed flat at 1.5.

In off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men rose 2% to 4.9. Twentieth's Family Guy gained 5% to 4.0. Sony's Seinfeld was up 9% to 3.7. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond lost 3% to 3.0. Warner Bros.' George Lopez and Twentieth's King of the Hill each gained 4% to 2.9 and 2.8 respectively. Sony's King of Queens added 8% to 2.6. Warner Bros.' Friends fell 4% to 2.4.

Elsewhere, weekly off-cable Storm Stories was unchanged at 1.3. Off-TBS strip House of Payne was up 5% to 2.3.