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Syndication Ratings: 'Live,' 'Maury' Tie for Week's Top Talk Slot

In the ongoing shuffle to claim the top talker title, Disney's Live with Regis and Kelly and NBCUniversal's Maury tied for the number-one spot in the week ending July 10. Syndication ratings were mostly down in a week that included the July 4 holiday and many preemptions due to the Casey Anthony murder verdict on July 5 and the last launch of the space shuttle on July 8.

Live improved 10% to a 2.3 live plus same day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, while Maury added 5%. Maury also leads all talkers in total viewers and across all key female and adult demographics.

Tied for second place at a 2.1 were CBS Television Distribution's Oprah and its spin-off, Dr. Phil, both of which were in repeats. Sony's Dr. Oz rebounded 12% from its all-time low in the prior week to a 1.9. Warner Bros.' Ellen recovered 15% from its prior week's season low to a 1.5. CTD's The Doctors advanced 8% to a 1.4, tying NBCU's Jerry Springer, which was flat at a 1.4. CTD's Rachael Ray rose 8% to a 1.3, tying NBCU's Steve Wilkos, which was unchanged. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams was the only talk show to decline, sliding 11% to a 0.8.

Also in daytime, CTD's Judge Judy led all syndicated shows with a 6.3, up 5% in households from the prior week and up 47% from last year. In addition, Judy scored double-digit gains in every key female demo, advancing 12% among women 25-54 to a 2.9, 15% among women 1-49 to a 2.3 and 14% among women 18-34 to a 1.6.

CTD's Judge Joe Brown remained in second among the court shows, holding steady at a 2.6. Warner Bros.' People's Court added 6% to a 1.9. Twentieth's Divorce Court and Judge Alex each were unchanged at a 1.6, tying Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis, which added 7%. Warner Bros.' departing Judge Jeanine Pirro remained at a 0.8 for the 11th week in a row.

Elsewhere in daytime, Debmar-Mercury's Father Albert managed a 0.6 rating/2 share average on its six Fox stations in the first week of a scheduled five-week summer test run. That's down 14% from its 0.7/2 year-ago time period average and down 45% from its 1.1/3 lead-in.

The season's top newcomer, CTD's Swift Justice with Nancy Grace, who has been in the news a great deal lately herself for her assertive coverage of the Casey Anthony murder trial, had its best showing in eight weeks, improving 13% to a 1.7. Among women 18-34, the show surged 40% to a 0.7.

Twentieth's already-canceled Don't Forget the Lyrics tied Sony's Nate Berkus for second place at a 0.9. Lyrics was unchanged, while Nate improved 13%. Litton's Judge Karen's Court grew 14% to a 0.8, while Entertainment Studios' America's Court with Judge Ross was flat at a 0.4.

CTD's Entertainment Tonight led the magazines, holding firm at a 3.2, while companion ET Weekend improved 19% to a 1.9. CTD's Inside Edition climbed 12% to a 2.8. Warner Bros.' TMZ was the only magazine to decline from the prior week, dropping 10% to a 1.8. NBCU's Access Hollywood was steady at a 1.6. CTD's The Insider grew 7% to a 1.5 in households and 17% among women 18-49. Warner Bros.' Extra strengthened 8% to a 1.4, while Extra Weekend gained 29% to a 0.9.

Also in access, CTD's Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! were the only programs to fall from the prior week. Wheel slid 2% to a 5.9, while Jeopardy! softened 4% to a 4.8. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud jumped 8% to a new season high 2.7, marking the eighth week that Feud has beaten or tied Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Millionaire gained 15% for the week to a 2.3. Twentieth's canceled Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader improved 10% to a 1.1.

Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men remained the lead off-net sitcom, dipping 3% to a 5.7. Twentieth's Family Guy lost 4% to a 4.3. Disney-ABC's My Wife and Kids was unchanged at a 3.2. Warner Bros.' George Lopez was the only sitcom to improve gaining 8% to a 2.6. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond declined 4% to a 2.5, tying Sony's Seinfeld, which was flat. Twentieth's King of the Hill also was flat at a 2.4, while NBCU's The Office dimmed 4% to a 2.3. Warner Bros.' Friends, renewed in half the country for a third cycle, remained flat at a 1.8.

All the new off-net and off-cable strips improved. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother gained 12% to a 2.8, Warner Bros.' The New Adventures of Old Christine grew 8% to a 1.4, and Debmar-Mercury's Meet the Browns added 8% to a 1.3.