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Syndication Ratings: With Longer Days Comes Lower Ratings

The return of longer days sent syndie ratings further down
in the week ending March 17. Levels of people using television plummeted by
more than 2.8 million viewers on average from the prior week. Syndies also
suffered massive preemptions during the week due to the election of Pope
Francis I on March 13.

CBS Television Distribution's talk-show leader, Dr. Phil,
was one of only three shows in the category to outperform over last year.
NBCU's Steve Wilkos and Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams were the
other two.

Phil slipped 10% from the prior session to a 2.8 with
a week of mostly repeats, but managed to grow 8% over last year. Phil also
led the talkers among daytime's key demographic of women 25-54 at a 1.6.

Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly and Michael made it
eight straight weeks in second place, despite slipping 7% to a 2.5. Sony
Pictures Television's Dr. Oz dropped 8% to a 2.3, but climbed into third
place overall among the talkers. Warner Bros.' Ellen, in reruns, fell
15% and into fourth place at a 2.2. NBCU's Maury eased 5% to a 2.1.

NBCU's Steve Wilkos, which has been blooming in its
sixth season, held steady for the week while improving 17% from the same week
last year. CTD's Rachael Ray retreated 7% to a 1.4, tying Wilkos and
NBCU's Jerry Springer, which was flat.

CTD's The Doctors declined 7% to a 1.3, although its
March 11 interview with actress Valerie Harper, who was recently diagnosed with
terminal brain cancer, climbed 14% from the prior week to a 1.6, marking the
show's highest-rated non-sweep episode of the season.

Wendy Williams surged 20% for the week and year to a

Warner Bros.' Anderson Live, which wasn't live for
the week, dropped 18% to a new season low 0.9. Debmar-Mercury's Jeremy Kyle
fell 20% to a new season low 0.4.

The talk rookies all were at or near new season lows.
Disney-ABC's Katie declined 17% to a new low 1.5. NBCU's Steve Harvey
was flat at a 1.3. CTD's Jeff Probst dropped 14% to a new season low
0.6, tying Twentieth's Ricki Lake, which made it two weeks in a row at
its season low. NBCU's Trisha lost 17% to a 0.5.

Court shows also found the going rough. CTD's court leader, Judge
, dropped 10% from the prior week to a 6.6, but was still up 5% from
last year at this time. Judy also was the only court room to improve for
the year, while every other court was down by double digits year to year.

CTD's Judge Joe Brown, now in the final months of its
15-year run, relinquished 16% to finish at a new season-low 2.1. Warner Bros.'
People's Court
also tumbled 16% to tie Brown. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis
slumped 7% to a new season low 1.3. Twentieth's Judge Alex and Divorce
both slid 8% to a 1.2. Entertainment Studios' America's Court stumbled
14% to a new season low 0.6, while freshman Justice for All and We
the People
both were flat at a 0.4 and 0.2, respectively.

Game shows weren't having much fun either. CTD's Wheel of
skidded 11% to a 6.7, still good enough to be the first-run leader.
CTD's Jeopardy! also dropped 11% to settle at a 6.2, and for the second
week in a row was within half a point of Wheel, the closest the two
strips have been all season. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud faded 8% to a
4.8, falling below the 5.0 mark. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,
which will be betting on new host Cedric the Entertainer next season, eroded 8%
to a 2.2, while NBCU's bucked the downtrend to climb 9% to a 1.2.

The veteran magazines all faded. CTD's leader Entertainment
was off 8% from the prior week to a 3.4. CTD's Inside Edition
deteriorated 13% to a 2.8. Warner Bros.' TMZ yielded 5% to a 2.0. NBCU's
Access Hollywood was down 16% to a 1.6. Warner Bros.' Extra
receded 13% to a 1.4. CTD's new omg! Insider gave back 7% to a 1.3,
although its companion, omg! Insider Weekend improved 13% to a 0.9.
Finally, Twentieth's newcomer Dish Nation climbed 10% to a hit a new
season high 1.1.

Among the off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros' The
Big Bang Theory
sank 8% to a 6.9, leading all of syndication. Warner Bros.'
Two and a Half Men also erased 8% landing at a 4.9. Twentieth's Family
gave back 5% to a 3.5. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother moved
4% lower to a 2.6. SPT's Seinfeld and Twentieth's King of the Hill both
declined 4% to a 2.3. Warner Bros.' Friends fell 5% to a 2.1. CTD's Everybody
Loves Raymond
retreated 5% to a 1.9.