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Syndication Ratings: Most Syndies Strong, Even as They Face Baseball Preemptions

Dr. Phil was again the top talker in the week ended Oct. 23, in which most syndicated shows showed growth as the days became colder and darker, and TV headed into the highly promoted November sweeps.

Shows managed to perform during the week even though many of them were preempted for baseball's World Series and for coverage of the capture and death of deposed Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Talkers, however, were mostly down or flat for the week. CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil took talk's top spot for the fifth time in six weeks, including one tie with Sony's Dr. Oz, holding steady for the week at a 2.8.

Disney–ABC's Live! with Regis and Kelly, which will see Regis depart at the end of this month, climbed 4% to a 2.6. That tied Dr. Oz, which dropped 7%, but was broken out due to preemptions for three of the week's five days, according to Sony. NBCU's Maury earned a 2.3, moving 10% ahead of the prior week. Warner Bros.' Ellen lost 4% to a 2.2. CTD's Rachael Ray remained flat at a 1.5. CTD's The Doctors dipped 7% to a 1.4, tying NBCU's Jerry Springer, which was flat. NBCU's Steve Wilkos also was flat at a 1.2. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams was unchanged at a 1.1, while Sony's Nate Berkus fell back 10% to a 0.9.

Among the first-run rookies, Warner Bros.' Anderson equaled its highest rating thus far, improving 8% to a 1.4, despite being preempted several times for baseball in the major metered markets. Entertainment Studios' We the People with Gloria Allred was flat at a 0.5, tying Debmar-Mercury's Jeremy Kyle, which gained 25%. Finally, in late night, CTD's new dating show Excused slipped 17% to a 0.5.

Warner Bros.' new off-net sitcom The Big Bang Theory leaped 31% to a 5.1, as its rating on TBS increased after the show was preempted for two weeks of post-season baseball. NBCU's 30 Rock, which also was heavily preempted by baseball overruns, climbed 27% to a 1.4 in mostly late fringe time slots. Twentieth's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia was flat at a 1.2, while Sony's ‘Til Death was unchanged at a 0.6.

Among the veteran off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men grew 7% to a 6.0. Twentieth's Family Guy gained 9% to a 3.8. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother was up 3% to a 3.2. Sony's Seinfeld and Warner Bros.' Friends both advanced 9% to a 2.4. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond rose 10% to a 2.3. Twentieth's King of the Hill increased 5% to a 2.0.

Also in access, CTD's Entertainment Tonight scored its highest rating in 22 weeks, improving 3% to a 3.9. CTD's Inside Edition tacked on 7% to a 3.2. NBCU's Access Hollywood spiked 13% to a 1.8. Warner Bros.' TMZ rebounded 29% to a 1.8, following a 22% drop in the prior session. CTD's The Insider was off 6% to a 1.6, and Warner Bros.' Extra, which did not air in several large markets due to the World Series, was flat at a 1.5.

Twentieth's Judge Judy ruled the court shows with a 6.7, up 3% for the week. CTD's Judge Joe Brown surged 13% from the prior week to a 2.7. Warner Bros.' People's Court picked up 5% to a 2.0. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis rose 7% to a 1.6, tying Twentieth's Judge Alex, which added 14% to a 1.6. CTD's Swift Justice hit its highest rating since Jackie Glass replaced Nancy Grace, climbing 8% to a 1.4 and tying Twentieth's Divorce Court, which was flat. Entertainment Studios' America's Court with Judge Ross was flat for the week at a 0.9.

Finally, the game shows turned in mostly strong performances with CTD's Wheel of Fortune growing 4% to hit a 7.0 and lead all of syndication. CTD's Jeopardy! added 5% to a 5.9. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud finished 8% ahead with a 2.8. Disney–ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire was unchanged at a 2.5.