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Syndication Ratings: Haiti Coverage Preempts Many Syndies

Ratings for most of syndication declined in the week ending
Jan. 17 as news coverage of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti Jan. 12
preempted many shows.  Bucking the
general downtrend was CBS Television Distribution's (CTD) Judge Judy, which saw its numbers jump for the third straight week
and set a new season record.  Judy was
the queen of the daytime ratings for the 8th consecutive week,
topping CTD's Oprah by 9% and scoring
a new season-high 5.0, up 6% from the week before and up 11% from last year at
this time.  That represented the largest
year-to-year increase of any syndicated strip of any type in first run.

Oprah was unable
to improve, remaining flat at 4.6 and other talk shows were mostly lower.  CTD's Dr.
slipped 6% to 2.9.  Disney/ABC's
Live With Regis and Kelly lost 10% to
2.7.  In the previous week, which marked
Regis Philbin's return following a hip replacement, ratings were up 20%.  Warner Bros.' Ellen Degeneres was down 4% to 2.4. 
CTD's The Doctors dipped 5% to
2.0.  NBCU's Maury also shed 5% to 1.9.  CTD's
Rachael Ray was off 10% to 1.8.  NBCU's Jerry
sagged 7% to 1.3.  NBCU's Steve Wilkos was unchanged at 1.2.  Warner Bros.' Bonnie Hunt got back what had fallen the week before, rebounding
11% to 1.0.  NBCU's Martha Stewart was down 14% to 0.6 and announced that she will
follow Oprah Winfrey to cable and become exclusive to Hallmark in September
under a multi-year pact.

CTD's Judge Joe Brown
was the no. 2 court show following Judge
and held steady at 2.4 as its executive producer John Terenzio was
also named to helm next season's Swift
Justice With Nancy Grace
.  Warner
Bros.' People's Court dropped 5% to
2.1.  Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis was up 6% to 1.8. 
Twentieth's Judge Alex sank 6%
to 1.5.  Twentieth's Divorce Court
was flat at 1.5.  Warner Bros.' Judge Jeanine Pirro trailed with a 1.1
for the fourth straight week.

Sony's Dr. Oz led
the first run rookies with a 2.9 after bleeding 6% of his ratings down to
2.9.  Twentieth's Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader suffered an 11% demotion down
to 1.6.  Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams was up 9% to 1.2.  Litton's Street
faded 14% to 0.6.  NBCU's The Office was the highest rated syndie
newcomer, growing 3% to 3.0.  Fellow
off-net freshman Twentieth's My Name Is Earl
and CTD's Everybody Hates Chris tied
at a 1.9, with Earl down 10% and Chris slipping 5%. 

Among magazines, CTD's Entertainment
was down 13% to 4.5 after seeing a 41% ratings surge over the past
two weeks.CTD's Inside
tanked 16% to 3.1.  Warner
Bros.' TMZ was up 10% to a new
season-high 2.3.  NBCU's Access Hollywood fell 9% to 2.1.  CTD's The
dipped 5% to 1.8.  Warner
Bros.' Extra took a 15% hit to a 1.7
after being heavily preempted in major markets by earthquake news coverage. 

Game shows were mostly lower, although CTD's Jeopardy inched up 2% to 6.3.  CTD's Wheel
of Fortune
skidded 8% to 7.0. 
Disney/ABC's Who Wants to Be a
Millionaire cashed out 11% of its
ratings, down to 2.5.  Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud fell 7% to 1.4.  NBCU's Deal
Or No Deal
settled for an 8% decline to 1.2.

Warner Bros.' Two and
a Half Men
topped the off-net sitcoms with a 10% increase to 1.4, although
most other laughers were narrowly mixed. 
Twentieth's Family Guy was
flat at 3.5.  Warner Bros.' George Lopez was down 3% to 2.8.  Sony's Seinfeld
grew 8% to 2.8.  CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond lost 4% to
2.7.  Twentieth's King of the Hill and Warner Bros.' Friends were flat at 2.3 and 2.2 respectively.  Sony's King
of Queens
was up 6% to 1.8.