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Syndication Ratings: Not So Seismic

A 5.4 magnitude earthquake shook Los Angeles in the week ending Aug. 3, but even with massive pre-emptions due to news coverage, syndies remained mostly steady.

Three talkers improved for the week, with CBS’ Dr. Phil remaining on its roll. Dr. Phil inched up 3% for both the week and the year to a 3.8 live-plus-same-day household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. That marked the third week in a row that Phil was the only talk show to outperform its year-ago ratings. Phil also was the only first-run strip in syndication to top its prior-year performance.

Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis and Kelly was up 4% to a 2.7, while NBC Universal’s rookie, Steve Wilkos, gained 13% to a 0.9. On July 30, Wilkos jumped 38% to a 1.1 for a rerun of a show entitled “Steve Attacks an Attacker.”

CBS’ top talker, Oprah, fell 5% to a 4.1, while NBCU’s Maury, in fourth place,dropped 5% to a 1.8. Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres was unchanged at a 1.6. CBS’ Rachael Ray fell 6% to a 1.5. NBCU’s Jerry Springer and CBS’ Montel Williams each declined 8% to a 1.1. Twentieth Television’s The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet held steady at a 1.0. Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks decreased 10% to a 0.9. NBCU’s Martha Stewart was flat at a 0.8.

CBS’ Judge Joe Brown, in second place for the 499th week in a row, was the only court show to improve on the week, gaining 4% to a 2.4. CBS’ Judge Judy continued to lead with an unchanged 4.5. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court, in third place, and Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis, in fourth, each were flat at a 2.3 and 1.8, respectively. Twentieth’s Divorce Court dipped 6% to a 1.5, tying Twentieth’s Judge Alex, which was unchanged. Sony’s Judge Hatchett fell 8% to a 1.1. Twentieth’s Cristina’s Court, Sony’s Judge Maria Lopez and Sony’s Judge David Young were all flat at 1.0, 0.8 and 0.8 respectively. Radar Entertainment’s Jury Duty lost one-tenth to drop 33% to a 0.2.

All of the game shows were down or flat. CBS’ Wheel of Fortune remained on top, dipping just 2% to a 6.4. CBS’ Jeopardy! lost 4% to a 5.5. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire remained at its season-low 2.6 for a third straight week. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud, Program Partners’ Merv Griffin’s Crosswords and Twentieth’s Temptation were all unchanged at 1.8, 0.8 and 0.5, respectively.

Warner Bros.’ Extra was the only magazine to improve over the prior week, gaining 7% to a 1.6. CBS’ Entertainment Tonight continued to be the top magazine at a 3.6, a 5% loss, followed by CBS’ Inside Edition at a 2.6, down 4%. Warner Bros.’ TMZ, CBS’ The Insider and NBCU’s Access Hollywood all held steady at a 2.0, 1.8 and 1.8, respectively.

The off-net sitcoms were mostly lower. Warner Bros.’ Two and a Half Men dropped 2% to a 4.5. Twentieth’s Family Guy slipped 3% to 3.8. Sony’s Seinfeld sank 6% to a 3.3. Warner Bros.’ George Lopez was flat at a 3.1. CBS’ Everybody Loves Raymond lost 6% to a 2.9. Warner Bros.’ Friends and Sony’s King of Queens each fell 4% to a 2.6 and 2.7, respectively.