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Syndication Ratings: 'Oprah's Ratings Up as Show Heads Into Its Last May Sweeps

Oprah's heading into the home stretch, and a spate of all-new episodes drove the show's ratings up 21% to a 4.7 live plus same day household ratings average, according to Nielsen Media Research, in the week ending April 17.

Most other syndies were flat to down as levels of people using television dropped by more than 1.7 million viewers from the prior week.

Elsewhere in talk, CBS Television Distribution's Dr. Phil, in second place, eased 4% to a 2.6 on a mix of originals and repeats.

Disney-ABC's Live with Regis and Kelly declined 4% to a 2.5. NBCUniversal's Maury improved 10% to a 2.2 Sony's Dr. Oz suffered the biggest week-to-week and year-to-year drop of any talker, losing 9% from the prior week and 16% from last year to a 2.1. Warner Bros.' Ellen fell 5% to a 2.0. CTD's The Doctors dipped 6% to a 1.6. CTD's Rachael Ray retreated 7% to a 1.4, tying NBCU's Jerry Springer, which was flat. NBCU's Steve Wilkos gained 8% to a 1.3, while Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams held steady at a 1.1.

CTD's Judge Judy ruled court and daytime with a steady 6.6 in a week of both repeats and originals. In second place, CTD's Judge Joe Brown was unchanged at a 2.6. Warner Bros.' People's Court was down 5% to a 1.8, while Warner's Judge Mathis was flat at a 1.5. Twentieth's Judge Alex and Divorce Court both fell 7% to a 1.4. Warner's Judge Jeannine Pirro remained last at a flat 0.9.

Among the rookies, CTD's Swift Justice with Nancy Grace dipped 11% from its prior-week season high to a 1.7. No other newcomer was able to break a 1.0, with Sony's Nate Berkus, Twentieth's Don't Forget the Lyrics and Litton's Judge Karen's Court all were flat at a 0.9, 0.9 and 0.8, respectively. Entertainment Studios' America's Court with Judge Ross picked up a tenth of a ratings point to gain 33% to a 0.4.

Every entertainment magazine except Warner Bros.' Extra declined on the week, although the magazines' fortunes are expected to improve as we get closer to the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on Friday April 29. CTD's Entertainment Tonight dipped 3% to a 3.7. In second place, CTD's Inside Edition softened 3% to a 2.9. Warner's TMZ skidded 5% to a 2.1. NBCU's Access Hollywood gave back 5% to a 1.9. CTD's The Insider yielded 6% to a 1.6. Extra held firm at a 1.5

Also in access, game shows also were all down or flat. CTD's Wheel of Fortune slowed 1% to a 6.8, but remained atop the syndication charts. CTD's Jeopardy! was flat at a 5.9. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire lost 4% to a 2.4. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud faded 8% to a 2.3. Twentieth's Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader declined 9% to a 1.0.

Among the off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men upticked 1% to a 7.0. Twentieth's Family Guy fell 6% to a 4.4. Disney-ABC's My Wife and Kids also dropped 6% to a 3.0. Warner Bros.' George Lopez dipped 3% to a 2.9. Sony's Seinfeld was steady at a 2.8. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond receded 4% to a 2.6. NBCU's The Office was cutback 4% to a 2.5. Twentieth's King of the Hill was flat at a 2.4, and Warner's Friends was off 5% to a 2.1.

Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother led the new off-net and off-cable strips, adding 3% to hit a new season high 3.0. Warner's New Adventures of Old Christine lost 6% to a 1.5. Debmar-Mercury's Meet the Browns, Warner's Entourage, Warner's Curb Your Enthusiasm and NBCU's Real Housewives all were flat at a 1.3, 0.7, 0.6 and 0.5, respectively.