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Syndication Ratings: 'Oprah' Weakens in Strong Syndie Week

Several syndies hit season highs as February sweeps got underway, although top talker Oprah fell back to earth in the week ending Feb. 6.

CBS Television Distribution's Oprah declined 16% to a 5.4 live plus same day household average after hitting a three-year high in the prior frame with an episode in which the queen of talk revealed her secret half-sister. That rating is still good enough to keep Oprah at the top of the daytime charts, however. 

Meanwhile, three talkers - Live with Regis and Kelly, The Doctors and Rachael Ray -- all hit season highs.
CTD's number-two talk show, Dr. Phil tied his season high and improved 26% to a 3.4 among households and also turned in strong performances across all three key female demographics. Live spiked 11% for the week and 11% for the year to a 3.1, the show's best rating since December 2008.

In fourth place, Warner Bros.' Ellen advanced 8% to a 2.7, tying Sony's Dr. Oz, which grew 4%. CTD's The Doctors jumped 17% to its new season high 2.1, The Doctors' best showing in 56 weeks. That tied NBC Universal's Maury, which fell 5% to a 2.1. CTD's Rachael Ray rallied 18% to its new season high 2.0, the show's strongest rating since Valentine's Day 2010. NBCU's Steve Wilkos climbed 7% to a 1.5, while the distributor's Jerry Springer slipped 7% to a 1.4. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams gained 9% to a 1.2.

CTD's Judge Judy presided over the court shows, gaining 7% from the prior week to a 4.9. CTD's Judge Joe Brown jumped 5% to a 2.2. Warner Bros.' People's Court gained 11% to a new season high 2.1. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis improved 6% to a 1.8. Twentieth's Judge Alex and Divorce Court were in lockstep, each gaining up 7% to a 1.5, which is a new season high for Divorce Court. Warner Bros.' Judge Jeanine Pirro added 10% to a 1.1. 

Among the closely watched rookie first-runs, CTD's Swift Justice with Nancy Grace hit its highest-rated week ever, ratcheting up 15% to a 1.5. In second place, Sony's Nate Berkus improved 20% to hit a new series high 1.2. Twentieth's Don't Forget the Lyrics, Litton's Judge Karen's Court and Entertainment Studios' America's Court with Judge Ross all were unchanged at a 0.9, 0.6 and 0.3, respectively. 

NBCU's newcomer, Access Hollywood Live, which airs in 13 markets in a slow rollout, scored a 1.1 rating/4 share average in those metered markets, up 10% over its February 2010 time period average for the first full week of the February sweep. 

In access, CTD's Entertainment Tonight remained the top magazine, ramping up 7% from the prior week to a 4.4 in households and growing 17% among women 25-54 to a 2.4. CTD's Inside Edition tacked on 9% to a new season high 3.5. Warner Bros.' TMZ and NBCU's Access Hollywood both held firm at a 2.1 and 2.0, respectively. CTD's The Insider climbed 6% to a 1.9. Warner Bros.' Extra was steady at a 1.7, while its weekend version improved 38% for the week and the year to a 1.1. 

CTD's Wheel of Fortune remained syndication's top-rated show, hitting a new season high 8.4, up 5% from the prior week. CTD's Jeopardy! ahead 6% to also hit a new season high 6.8, and is expecting big ratings for this week's episodes featuring IBM's Jeopardy!-playing computer, Watson. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire inched up 4% to a new season high 2.5. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud was flat at a 1.9. Twentieth's Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader declined 9% to a 1.0.

Among the off-net and off-cable strips, Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother was down 4% from the prior session to 2.6, while everything else was flat. Warner Bros.' New Adventures of Old Christine, Debmar-Mercury's Meet the Browns, Warner Bros.' Entourage, NBCU's off-Bravo Real Housewives and Warner Bros.' Curb Your Enthusiasm all were steady at 1.3, 1.2, .7, .6 and .6, respectively.

Finally, off-net sitcoms were mixed. Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men upticked 3% to a new season high 6.4. Twentieth's Family Guy fell 11% to a 4.1. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond lost 3% to a 2.9. Disney-ABC's My Wife and Kids was unchanged at 2.9. Sony's Seinfeld slipped 4% to a 2.7. NBCU's The Office weakened 8% to a 2.4. Twentieth's King of the Hill added 5% to a 2.2. Warner Bros.' George Lopez tumbled 13% to a new season low 2.1, while Warner Bros.' Friends climbed 5% to a 2.0.