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Syndication Ratings: Mid-August Ratings Rebound For Many Syndies

Ratings rebounded for many shows in the week ending Aug. 16, with PUT levels improving. Even with summer reruns, a number of shows in syndication were able to jump from what was a slow previous week.

In court, CBS Television Distribution's Judge Joe Brown had the hot gavel, climbing 11% to a 2.1, its highest rating since early June. Judge Joe has now been the No. 2 courtroom every week for more than 10 years, 554 consecutive weeks. CTD's Judge Judy gained 3%, to a 3.8, and beat CTD's Oprah Winfrey Show for the top spot in daytime for the 8th straight week. Warner Bros.' People's Court was flat at a 1.7. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis advanced 7%, to a 1.5. Twentieth Television's Judge Alex and Divorce Court held steady at a 1.3 and a 1.2, respectively. Twentieth's Christina's Court was up 14%, to a 0.8. Sony's Judge David Young trailed with an unchanged 0.7.

Five talk shows generated steam last week. Disney/ABC's Live With Regis and Kelly rose 4%, to a 2.5. NBC Universal's Maury was up 6%, to a 1.8. CTD's Rachael Ray grew 7%, to a 1.5, after a re-broadcast of a show with Salma Hayek sent ratings up 14% on Aug. 10. NBCU's Jerry Springer sprang up 9%, to a 1.2. Warner Bros.' Tyra Banks climbed 11%, to a 1.0. Meanwhile, at the top of the talk list, Oprah declined 3%, to a 3.4. CTD's Dr. Phil slipped 4%, to a 2.4. Warner Bros.' Ellen DeGeneres was unchanged at a 1.4. NBCU's Steve Wilkos wilted 9%, to a 1.0. NBCU's Martha Stewart was stable at a 0.6.

In the race between the two shows launched in July, Twentieth's Wedlock or Deadlock had a 1.0/3, in front of Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams, which had a 0.9/3 in metered markets for the week ending Aug. 23. Both shows were up week-to-week, with Wendy gaining 13% and Wedlock 11%.

CTD's The Doctors made it 30 straight weeks as the top newcomer, gaining 7%, to a 1.6. NBCU's Deal Or No Deal was firm at a 1.4. Recent entry Wendy Williams remained at a 0.9. Sony's Judge Karen was also flat at a 0.8. Warner Bros.' Bonnie Hunt rose 17%, to a 0.7. Debmar-Mercury's Trivial Pursuit was flat at a 0.5. Program Partners' Family Court jumped 25%, to a 0.5.

Game shows were flat to down, with CTD's Wheel of Fortune leading the way, unchanged at a 5.5. CTD's Jeopardy! lost 2%, to a 4.5. Disney/ABC's Who Wants To Be a Millionaire added 5%, to a 2.3. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud fell 7%, to a 1.3.

The only magazines up from the week before were CTD's Inside Edition and The Insider, though everything else in the genre held steady. Inside Edition gained 7%, to a 2.9. The Insider climbed 6%, to a 1.7, after seeing a 14% ratings boost Aug. 11, with coverage of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's tense exchange with an African student as the lead story. Meanwhile, Insider Weekend was up 9%, to a 1.2. Inside Edition Weekend was down 18%, to a 0.9. CTD's Entertainment Tonight was the top show, holding steady at a 3.7. Warner Bros.' TMZ pulled in at a 1.9, NBCU's Access Hollywood at a 1.8, and Warner Bros.' Extra at a 1.5; all were on par with the prior week.

Off-net sitcoms were mixed. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men inched up 4%, to a 4.2. Twentieth's Family Guy dropped 6%, to a 3.3. Warner Bros.' George Lopez was up 7%, to a 3.2. Sony's Seinfeld rose 3%, to a 3.0. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond was down 3%, to a 2.9. Twentieth's King of the Hill gained 4%, to a 2.5. Sony's King of Queens lost 4%, to a 2.2, falling into a tie with Warner Bros.' Friends, which was up 5%, to a 2.2.