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Syndication Ratings: In Final Week of Season, 'TMZ' Stands Out With Original Episodes

Most syndicated shows were in reruns as summer and the TV season both wound to a close in the week ended Aug. 26. Moreover, many shows were preempted in New York during the week for coverage of the Empire State Building shootings on Friday, Aug. 24.

One of the week's few bright spots was Warner Bros.' TMZ, which had the largest weekly increase of any magazine, growing 6% for the week and the year to a 1.9 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, the show's highest rating in a month.

CBS Television Distribution's Entertainment Tonight continued to lead the field with a 3.3, off 6% from the prior week. CTD's Inside Edition picked up 4% to a 2.9. NBCUniversal's Access Hollywood held steady at a 1.8, up 6% from last year. CTD's The Insider slipped 7% to a 1.4, tying Warner Bros.' Extra, which held steady at a 1.4.

Among talk shows, CTD's leader Dr. Phil gave back 4% from the prior week to a 2.3, although still up 5% from last year at this time. In second place, Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly advanced 5% for the week and the year to a 2.2. NBCU's conflict talker, Maury, sank 9% to a 2.0. Sony's Dr. Oz eroded 14% to a new season-low 1.9. Warner Bros.' Ellen eased 6% to a 1.5, up 7% from last year at this time. CTD's Rachael Ray rallied 8% to a 1.4, improving 17% from last year, the talk genre's biggest yearly increase. Rachael tied The Doctors, which was flat. NBCU's Jerry Springer slipped 7% to a 1.3. NBCU's Steve Wilkos was flat at a 1.2, while Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams weakened 13% to a new season-low 0.7.

In its last week of rookie-dom, Warner Bros.' Anderson was in repeats all week and blacked out on Cablevision on WPIX New York due to a retransmission consent dispute. As a result, the show retreated 9% to a 1.0. CTD's late-night dater, Excused, yielded 17% to a 0.5. Debmar-Mercury's Jeremy Kyle and Entertainment Studios' We the People with Gloria Allred both were unchanged at a 0.5 and 0.4, respectively.

CTD's top gaveler, Judge Judy, which just won the overall syndication season race, dipped 3% from the prior week to a 6.0. CTD's Judge Joe Brown was flat at a 2.4. Warner Bros.' People's Court lost 5% to a 1.8, while Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis was flat at a 1.4. Twentieth's Judge Alex and Divorce Court slid 7% to a 1.3. Entertainment Studios' America's Court was flat at a 0.9.

Among game shows, CTD's Wheel of Fortune dipped 3% from the previous week to a 5.6. CTD's Jeopardy! fell 6% to a 4.7. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud was flat at a 3.2. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire faded 4% to a 2.2.

Among the off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' The Big Bang Theory decreased 3% to a 6.4. In second place, Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men picked up 2% to a 4.9. Twentieth's Family Guy grew 5% to a 3.9. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother was flat at a 2.6. Twentieth's King of the Hill climbed 4% to a 2.4. Sony's Seinfeld slipped 4% to a 2.2, tying CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond, which improved 5%. Warner Bros.' Friends fell 5% to a 2.0.