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Syndication Ratings: 'Live!' Only Top Talker to Gain in Mother's Day Week

Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly and Michael was the only top-tier talk show to improve in the week ended May 12, which included the mid-point of the May sweep.

Other talkers to improve were Warner Bros.' soon-to-conclude Anderson Live, which gained 11% from the prior week to a 1.0 live plus same day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, while Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams climbed 8% to a 1.3. Live! clocked a 2.6, climbing 4% for the week and 13% for the year, marking the largest increase from last year at this time of any talker in the top eight. Wendy also is up 18% year to year.

Live! finished second to CBS Television Distribution's talk leader Dr. Phil and now has been the number-two talker or tied for number for 15 weeks out of the past 16. In the only week that Live! wasn't second, it finished first. Dr. Phil, which had talk's biggest gains in the previous session, gave back 12% for the week to a 2.9, making Phil number-one for the 30th time out of 34 weeks this season.

Phil also was the top talker among women 25-54, with a 1.7. In third place, Warner Bros.' Ellen held steady at a 2.5, and gained 4% from last year. Sony Pictures Television's recently renewed Dr. Oz dropped 4% for the week to a 2.2, and was the one top-tier talker to match its season low. Year to year, Dr. Oz is down 15%, the most of any top-tier talker.

NBCU's Maury, CTD's Rachael Ray, NBCU's Steve Wilkos and NBCU's Jerry Springer all held firm at a 2.0, 1.4, 1.3 and 1.3, respectively. CTD's The Doctors eased 8% to a 1.2. Debmar-Mercury's Jeremy Kyle which is wrapping up its run, followed with a 0.4, while Meredith's newly nationally-rated morning talker, Better, came in last at a flat 0.2.

The competition for rookie supremacy remained hot with only one-tenth of a ratings point separating Disney-ABC's Katie and NBCU's Steve Harvey for the third straight week. Katie, which has been the highest-rated new talk show every week since it premiered, and Harvey both held steady at a 1.6 and 1.5 in households, respectively. Among women 25-54, however, Harvey topped Katie for the sixth time in the past eight weeks. This week, Harvey and Katie both were flat in the demo at a 0.9 and 0.8, respectively.

NBCU's Trisha, also renewed for year two, was unchanged at a 0.6 in households. CTD's Jeff Probst and Twentieth's Ricki Lake, each of which are also canceled, also each averaged a 0.6.

CTD's top gaveler, Judge Judy, was syndication's number one show overall for the second straight week, despite dipping 1% to a 6.7. CBS Television Distribution's Judge Joe Brown, which is being taken off the case at the end of this season, rebounded 10% to a 2.3 and a very distant second place. Warner Bros.' People's Court was flat at 1.7, followed by Twentieth's Judge Alex, which advanced 15% to a 1.5. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis was unchanged at a 1.4, followed by Twentieth's Divorce Court, which rose 8% to a 1.3. Entertainment Studios' America's Court, Justice for All and We the People all were flat at a 0.7, 0.4 and 0.2, respectively.

In access, the only magazine strip to be up from the prior week was Warner Bros.' Extra, which jumped 7% to a 1.5. In addition, its Extra Weekend surged 29% to a 0.9, and was the only companion weekend magazine to improve for the week.

The magazine leader, CTD's Entertainment Tonight, was off 3% to a 3.5, followed by CTD's Inside Edition, Warner Bros.' TMZ, NBCU's Access Hollywood and CTD's omg! Insider, all of which were unchanged at a 3.0, 1.9, 1.7 and 1.4, respectively. Twentieth's freshman Dish Nation sank 9% to a 1.0.

All of the game shows but one were down for the week. CTD's Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! both faded 3% for the week, landing at a 6.3 and 5.8, respectively. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud fell 2% to a 4.5. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire saw its ratings appreciate 4% to a 2.4. NBCU's rookie Baggage was tagged with a 9% loss to a 1.0.

In the metered markets, Warner Bros.' new interactive game show, Let's Ask America, which airs on Scripps stations in metered markets, gained 7% to a 1.6 rating/4 share. NBCU's slow roll-out, Access Hollywood Live, was flat at a 0.9/3, but improved 20% among women 25-54 to a 0.6/4.

Among off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' The Big Bang Theory was flat from the prior week at a 6.5. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men recovered 5% to a 4.6, after hitting a new season low in the prior frame. Twentieth's Family Guy gained 3% to a 3.4, while How I Met Your Mother was unchanged at a 2.4 and King of the Hill rolled down 5% to a 2.1. SPT's Seinfeld slid 9% to a 2.0, tying Warner Bros.' Friends, which was flat at a 2.0. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond retreated 6% to a 1.7.