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Syndication Ratings: Family Guy Tops Field in Week Two

This week’s surprise rookie star is Twentieth Television’s Family Guy, which, after setting series records for its primetime series premiere, went on to unseat CBS’ longtime top off-net sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond, in syndication.

Family Guy was up 20% from the prior week to a 4.2 household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, while Raymond slipped 3% to a 3.7.

Sony’s Seinfeld was third at a 3.5, up 6%. Another newcomer, Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men, grabbed fourth at a 3.3. Warner Bros.’ Friends, which dropped 10% to a 2.7, tied CBS’ King of Queens, unchanged, for fifth place in the category.

In general, daytime viewing continued to fall off in the week-ending Sept. 23, with people using television (PUT) down by more than 1 million from the prior week and by more than 4.4 million from two weeks ago.

As a result, most syndies were down or flat week to week.

NBC Universal’s The Steve Wilkos Show was the highest-rated rookie talker, turning in a 0.9 household rating, according to Nielsen, unchanged from the show’s premiere week. Twentieth’s The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, after two weeks in national syndication, is nipping at Wilkos’ heels at a 0.8.

Among the vets, CBS’ Oprah fell 2% from its premiere week to a 5.7. CBS’ Dr. Phil was flat at a 4.5. Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis and Kelly dropped 6% to a 3.0. Warner Bros.’ Ellen was flat at a 1.9. CBS’ Rachel Ray was flat at a 1.8, tying NBC Universal’s Maury, which was up 6%. CBS’ Montel Williams was flat at a 1.4, while NBC U’s Jerry Springer was up 8% to a 1.3. Warner Bros.’ Tyra was at a 1.1 after being reprocessed the prior week. And NBC U’s Martha Stewart Show was flat at a 0.9.

CBS’ Entertainment Tonight managed to get a lift from its coverage of the lowest-rated Emmycast since Nielsen introduced People Meters in 1987. ET hit its highest ratings in seven weeks with a 4.4, up 2% from the prior week. CBS’ Inside Edition, CBS’ The Insider and NBC U’s Access Hollywood all held steady at a 3.1, 2.3 and 2.2, respectively, while Warner Bros.’ Extra fell 6% to a 1.7.

Meanwhile, the ratings for Warner Bros.’ rookie magazine, TMZ, were reprocessed by Nielsen and not available, although preliminary ratings score the show at a 1.9 in its second week, which would make it the highest-rated rookie strip.

The court shows were largely flat to down, with only CBS’ category leader, Judge Judy, and Sony’s sophomore, Judge Maria Lopez, seeing gains.

Judy was up 5% from the prior week to a 4.6. In second place, CBS’ Judge Joe Brown was down 4% to a 2.5. Twentieth’s Divorce Court came in third at a 1.7, down 6%, while the usual third- and fourth-place shows -- Warner Bros.’ People’s Court and Judge Mathis -- were reprocessed. Twentieth’s Judge Alex and Sony’s Judge Hatchett were unchanged at a 1.6 and 1.3, respectively. Twentieth’s Cristina’s Court was down 8% to a 1.1, while Lopez jumped 11% to a 1.0. The genre’s new entry, Sony’s Judge David Young, was flat in its second week at a 0.8, while Radar Entertainment’s Jury Duty was reprocessed.

Finally, among the games, both CBS’ Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! were up 6% to a 6.8 and 5.7, respectively. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was down 4% to a 2.7. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud was up 6% to a 1.7. One of the new games, Program Partners’ Merv Griffin’s Let’s Play Crosswords, was unchanged at a 0.8, while the other game-show rookie, Twentieth’s Temptation, continued to be reprocessed for a second straight week.