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Syndication Ratings: Jackson Case Developments Help Magazines, Talkers Cool

Talk shows, which had been mostly hot for most of August, cooled off in the week ending Aug. 30 with the notable exception of the top two—CTD’s Oprah and Dr. Phil. While PUT levels declined from the week before by more than 1.1 million viewers, Oprah still managed to grab a 3% increase to 3.6 and Dr. Phil grew 4% to 2.6.

Everything else in the genre was down or flat. Disney/ABC’s Live With Regis and Kelly sank 9% to a 52-week low of 2.1. NBCU’s Maury slid 6% to 1.7. CTD’s Rachael Ray held steady at 1.5.  Warner Bros.’ Ellen Degeneres dropped 7% to 1.4. NBCU’s Jerry Springer stayed flat at 1.2. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos wilted 8% to 1.1. Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks and NBCU’s Martha Stewart remained unchanged at 0.9 and 0.6 respectively.  

Magazine leader CTD’s Entertainment Tonight, CTD’s Inside Edition and Warner Bros.’ TMZ appeared to benefit from coverage of new developments in the Michael Jackson case, especially the ruling that Jackson’s death was a homicide. ET rose 3% to 3.7, with a 14% lift to 4.1 for its Jackson report on Aug. 24. Inside Edition was up 4% to 2.9. TMZ was up 6% to 1.9.  NBC U’s Access Hollywood, CTD’s The Insider and Warner Bros.’ Extra all held steady with the prior week at 1.8, 1.6, and 1.5 respectively.  

Elsewhere, CTD’s The Doctors held steady at 1.7 and was the top-rated newcomer to first-run syndication as it has been every week since January. NBC U’s Deal Or No Deal was the No. 2 rookie with an unchanged 1.4. Further back, Sony’s Judge Karen was third at an unchanged 0.9 and tied with Debmar-Mercury’s Wendy Williams, which logged a 0.9 for the fourth straight week. Warner Bros.’ Bonnie Hunt remained at 0.6. Debmar-Mercury’s Trivial Pursuit came in at an unchanged 0.5. Program Partners’ Family Court was down 20% to 0.4.

Judge Jeanine Pirro began her second season on Labor Day with a 1.0/3 weighted average in the metered markets.  New York was Pirro’s strongest market in the top-30 as she blew by Oprah on day one with a 2.9/6 at 4 p.m. on WNYW.  Following the holiday, however, Pirro’s average dropped to a 0.8/3.  Last season, the show was on the CW network.  

In the court genre, CTD’s Judge Judy rolled to a 3.7, down 3% from the week before, though it was the No. 1 strip in daytime, beating Oprah for the 10th straight week. CTD’s Judge Joe Brown dipped 5% to 2.0. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was flat at 1.7.  Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis was up 7% to a 1.6.  Twentieth’s Judge Alex fell 7% to 1.3.  Twentieth’s Divorce Court was off 8% to a 1.2. Twentieth’s Christina’s Court dropped 13% to 0.7. Sony’s Judge David Young was flat at 0.7.  

Game shows were down or flat. CTD’s Wheel of Fortune slid 5% to 5.7. CTD’s Jeopardy was unchanged at 4.8.  Disney/ABC’s Who Wants To Be a Millionaire dipped 4% to 2.2. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud fell 7% to 1.3.  

Off-net sitcoms were a mixed bag. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men rose 5% to 4.3. Twentieth’s Family Guy gained 3% to 3.7.  Warner Bros.’ George Lopez (down 6%), Sony’s Seinfeld (down 3%) and CTD’s Everybody Loves Raymond (up 4%) fell into a three-way tie for third-place at 2.9.  Twentieth’s King of the Hill (down 4%), Sony’s King of Queens (down 4%), and Warner Bros.’ Friends (up 5%) were all tied at 2.3.