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Syndication Ratings: In First Week of New Season, Talkers and Courtrooms Improve

Most syndicated shows were up in the first official week of the new TV season, the week ended Sept. 2, even though most shows didn't premiere until Monday, Sept. 10.

CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil remained syndication's top talker, even though the show was still in repeats prior to its season launch on Tuesday, Sept. 11. Dr. Phil added 9% for the week and 19% from last year at this time to a 2.5. Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly, in the last week before the show announced Michael Strahan as Kelly Ripa's new cohost, was the second-rated talker at a steady 2.2. NBCUniversal's conflict talker Maury tacked on 5% to a 2.1, tying Sony's Dr. Oz for third place. Oz recovered 11% after dropping to a new season-low in the previous week.

Warner Bros.' Ellen was up 7% for both the week and the year to a 1.6. CTD's The Doctors and NBCU's Jerry Springer both were stable at a 1.4 and 1.3, respectively. CTD's Rachael Ray eased 7% to a 1.3, tying Springer. Warner Bros.' Anderson, despite being in all repeats, spiked 20% to a 1.2 in its first sophomore week and its last week before switching to its new Anderson Live! format. NBCU's Steve Wilkos weakened 8% to a 1.1. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams improved 29% to a 0.9, while Debmar-Mercury's Jeremy Kyle was flat at a 0.5.
In late-night, CTD's dating show, Excused, added 20% to a 0.6.

Picking up where it left off, CTD's Judge Judy was syndication's top show at a 6.5, up 8% from both the prior week and last year at this time. Judy was last season's highest-rated syndicated show. CTD's Judge Joe Brown, per usual, followed Judy as the second-highest-rated courtroom, climbing 4% to a 2.5. Warner Bros.' People's Court picked up 6% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis moved ahead 7% to a 1.5. Twentieth's Judge Alex added 8% to a 1.4. Twentieth's Divorce Court was flat at a 1.3. Entertainment Studios' America's Court jumped 22% to a new series high 1.1, while ES' We the People stayed unchanged at a 0.4.

Magazine shows suffered numerous preemptions due to network coverage of the Republican National Convention. CTD's leader Entertainment Tonight and its second-place Inside Edition both were flat at a 3.3 and 2.9, respectively. Warner Bros.' TMZ remained at a 1.9, but clocked the biggest increase over last year, improving 12%. NBCU's Access Hollywood was off 11% to a 1.6, while CTD's The Insider remained at a 1.4, tying Warner Bros.' Extra, which was flat for the week but up 9% from last year at this time.

Among game shows, CTD's Wheel of Fortune slowed down 2% from the prior week to a 5.5. CTD's Jeopardy! eroded 4% to a 4.5. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud was flat at a 3.2, while Disney-ABC's Millionaire appreciated 9% to a 2.4.

Warner Bros.' top off-net sitcom, The Big Bang Theory, dipped 3% to a 6.2. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men fell 2% to a 4.8. Twentieth's Family Guy softened 3% to a 3.8. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother lost 8% to a 2.4. Twentieth's King of the Hill declined 8% to a 2.2, tying Sony's Seinfeld, which was steady. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond retreated 5% to a 2.1, while Warner Bros.' Friends faded 10% to a 1.8.