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Syndication Ratings: As Magazines Cool, Summer Talkers Increase

A gaggle of talk shows woke up in
the week ending July 19 with five strips moving higher in syndication ratings,
despite an average PUT level decline of more than 1 million viewers.  NBC Universal's Martha Stewart had the largest
increase, jumping 20% to a 0.6. 

CBS Television Distribution's
Oprah Winfrey Show, the top talker, had another slow week, dropping 5%, to a 3.5.  CTD's Dr. Phil was down 7%, to a 2.6, after
going into reruns.  Disney/ABC's Live
With Regis and Kelly
advanced 4%, to a 2.4. 
NBCU's Maury was unchanged at a 1.7. 
Warner Bros.' Ellen DeGeneres was up 7%, to a 1.6.  CTD's Rachael Ray held steady at a 1.4.  NBCU's Jerry Springer gained 9%, to a 1.2.  NBCU's Steve Wilkos climbed 10%, to a 1.1.  Warner Bros.' Tyra Banks sank 20%, to
a 0.8.  Twentieth Television's The Morning Show With
Mike and Juliet
lost 14%, to a 0.6. 

Among the newest entries, WarnerBros.' Beyond Twisted, which had its eight week test run halted after threeweeks, ended with a 1.1/3, down 35% from its average lead-in and 42% from its
average year-ago time periods. 
Twentieth's Wedlock or Deadlock completed its first week of a scheduled
six-week, seven-market trial with a 1.2/4 in mostly daytime slots, down 29% from
its lead-ins and 33% from year-ago time periods. 

The nationally-rated rookies were
led by CTD's The Doctors, with a 1.6, holding firm from the week before.  NBCU's Deal Or No Deal was steady at
a 1.4.  Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams,
which premiered July 13, made her debut on the national freshman chart at
a 1.0.  More than 30 broadcast stations will join the national lineup in the fall.  Sony's Judge Karen, which is
expected to end its run shortly, stayed flat at a 0.8, while Warner Bros.' Bonnie
rose 17%, to a 0.7.  Debmar-Mercury's
Trivial Pursuit, at an unchanged 0.5, and Program Partners' Family Court at a 0.4,
down 20%, trailed the field.

After three weeks of headlines,
the Michael Jackson story finally started to fade and so did the ratings for
most magazine shows.  Also problematic
were preemptions for some strips in some markets caused by the July
14th MLB All-Star Game.  CTD's
ET earned a 3.9, down 7% from the week before. 
CTD's Inside Edition was flat, at a 2.9. 
NBCU's Access Hollywood fell 10%, to a 1.8, dropping into a tie with
Warner Bros.' TMZ, which slipped 5%, to a 1.8. 
CTD's The Insider eased up 6%, to a 1.7. 
Warner Bros.' Extra fell 6%, to a 1.6. 

In courtrooms, CTD's Judge Judy
dipped 3%, to a 3.7.  Judy was the top
first-run strip in daytime.  CTD's Judge
Joe Brown
stayed even at a 1.9.  Warner
Bros.' People's Court was unchanged at a 1.7. 
Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis was up 8%, to a 1.4.  Twentieth's Judge Alex dropped 13%, to a
1.3.  Twentieth's Divorce Court fell
8%, to a 1.1.  Twentieth's Christina's Court
slipped 22%, to a 0.7, falling into a tie with Sony's Judge David Young, which was
up 17%. 

CTD's Wheel of Fortune was down
2%, to a 5.6, but led all game shows.  CTD's
Jeopardy! dropped 23%, to a 4.7. 
Disney/ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire lost 5%, to a 2.1.  Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud was flat at
a 1.3. 

Among the off-net sitcoms, Warner
Bros.' Two and a Half Men was on top but down 3%, to a 3.8.  Twentieth's Family Guy and Sony's Seinfeld
were unchanged at a 3.3 and a 2.8, respectively. 
CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond was up 4%, to a 2.7.  Warner Bros.' George Lopez dropped 4%, to
a 2.6.  Twentieth's King of the Hill fell
11%, to a 2.4.  Sony's King of Queens was
unchanged at a 2.2.  Warner Bros.' Friends
was up 5%, to a 2.1.