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Syndication Ratings: Jackson Fallout Keeps Magazines Up

Questions surrounding the sudden death of Michael Jackson kept the magazine ratings hot for the week ending July 5. Five of the six magazine shows showed double-digit ratings growth over last year at this time.

In magazines, CBS Television Distribution's Entertainment Tonight had a 21% rating gain over the same week last year to a 4.0, which matched the prior week, when Jackson's death sent the Nielsen's skyrocketing. On June 29, ET was up 13% from the week before and 36% from last year to a 4.5, on news of Jackson's autopsy and will. CTD's Inside Edition had a 2.8 in second place, up 22% from last year and 4% from the week before. Warner Bros.' TMZ and NBCU's Access Hollywood tied for third at 1.9. TMZ was the one magazine which did not see any increase over last year, staying flat, though it rose 6% week-to-week. Access was up 19% from last year and was unchanged for the week. CTD's The Insider climbed 13% from '08 to 1.8, and held steady with the prior week. Warner Bros.' Extra surged 14% from last year to a 1.6, also staying flat week-to-week.

Warner Bros.' Beyond Twisted completed the first week of its eight week trial run on seven Fox stations with a 1.1/2 weighted metered market average, airing mainly in access and late-night fringe spots. That rating represented a decline of 27% from its year-ago time period average and a drop of 31% from its lead-ins.

Among the nationally-rated newcomers, CTD's The Doctors was number one for the 24th week straight, holding firm with a 1.6. NBCU's Deal Or No Deal was second, slipping 7% to 1.3. Sony's Judge Karen was up 13% to 0.9. Warner Bros.' Bonnie Hunt was broken out all week. Debmar-Mercury's Trivial Pursuit was flat at 0.6. Program Partners' Family Court was up 25% to a 0.5.

In talk, CTD's Oprah fell to a new ratings-low of 3.2, a drop of 11%, though Wimbledon preemptions dropped the show to 89% coverage on July 2 and 3. CTD's Dr. Phil was next at an unchanged 2.7. Disney/ABC's Live With Regis and Kelly was also unchanged at 2.3. NBCU's Maury was up 6% to 1.8. Warner Bros.' Ellen Degeneres was down 6% to 1.5. CTD's Rachael Ray and NBCU's Jerry Springer were even at 1.4 and 1.1 respectively. NBCU's Steve Wilkos was up 10% to 1.1. Warner Bros.' Tyra Banks was flat at 1.0. Twentieth's The Morning Show With Mike and Juliet dropped 14% to 0.6. NBCU's Martha Stewart was broken out all week.

In court, CTD's Judge Judy was tops with a 3.7, dipping 3%. CTD's Judge Joe Brown was unchanged at 1.9. Warner Bros.' People's Court was down 5% to 1.8. Twentieth's Judge Alex, Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis, and Twentieth's Divorce Court all were even at 1.4, 1.3, and 1.2 respectively. Twentieth's Christina's Court rose 13% to 0.9. Sony's Judge David Young climbed 14% to 0.8.

CTD's Wheel of Fortune dropped 2% to 5.5 in game shows. CTD's Jeopardy fell 4% to 4.6. Disney/ABC's Who Wants To Be a Millionaire and Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud were unchanged at 2.1 and 1.3 respectively.

Among the off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men was up 5% to 3.9. Twentieth's Family Guy dropped 3% to 3.3. Sony's Seinfeld gained 7% to 2.9. Warner Bros.' George Lopez added 4% to 2.8. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond tacked on 8% to a 2.7. Twentieth's King of the Hill dropped 7% to 2.5.

The first-run action hour Legend of the Seeker was unchanged at 1.3. Off-cable Storm Stories was down 17% to 1.0. The Off-TBS strip House of Payne rose 6% to 1.9.

In early numbers from this week, Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams premiered July 13 in 39 metered markets with a 1.1/3 average, competing against summer reruns in most cases, dropping 8% from its lead in and year-again time period averages.