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Syndication Ratings: Pregnant Man Sends Oprah Back to Stratosphere

Thomas Beatie, the so-called pregnant man, scored big for CBS' The Oprah Winfrey Show in the week ending April 6. An April 3 episode featuring the six-months-pregnant Beatie -- who retained his female reproductive organs after undergoing a partial sex change years ago -- gained 45% from the prior week to hit a 7.1 live-plus-same-day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. Comparatively, the rest of Oprah's four shows averaged a 5.5.

Overall, Oprah gained 18% for the week to a 5.8 and 5% from last year at this time. That's a marked improvement from the 15% year-to-year decreases, on average, Oprah had been showing in recent months.

Besides Oprah, the other top-four four talkers all improved in a week where viewing declined by an average of 1.1 million people.

CBS' Dr. Phil -- currently in hot water for bailing out of jail one of the teen girls in Florida who is charged with beating another girl and videotaping it -- scored a 4.4, the show's highest rating since early March and up 7% from the prior week. (A planned show on the incident has since been scrapped and the producers involved rebuked.) Dr. Phil's highest-rated show focused on mothers obsessed with having perfect children, with ratings for that episode spiking 12% to a single-day rating of 4.6.

Disney-ABC's Live with Regis and Kelly, which hit a season low the previous week, recovered 4% to a 2.7, putting the show up 13% from the same week last year. Warner Bros.' Ellen DeGeneres was the fourth show to see gains on the week, improving 5% to a 2.1. Ellen earned a 20% increase to a 2.4 for a show that aired Monday, March 31, featuring Jeff Foxworthy at Universal's theme park in Orlando, Fla.

CBS' Rachael Ray, with two days of repeats, was in fifth place, off 5% to a 1.9. NBC Universal's Maury fell 10% to a 1.8. CBS' Montel Williams dropped 7% to a 1.4. NBCU's Jerry Springer dipped 8% to a 1.1, tying Twentieth Television's rookie talker, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, which held steady at a 1.1. Warner Bros.' Tyra Banks, in repeats for three out of five days, fell 9% to a 1.0. NBCU's Martha Stewart was flat at a 1.0, as was NBCU's newcomer, Steve Wilkos, at a 0.9.

CBS' Judge Judy jumped 2% from the prior week and 7% from last year to a 4.8. CBS' Judge Joe Brown was unchanged at a 2.4, tying Warner Bros.' People's Court, which climbed 4% to a 2.4. Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis fell 5% to a new season-low 1.9. Twentieth's Divorce Court and Judge Alex tied at a 1.7, with Divorce Court flat and Judge Alex up 6%. Sony's Judge Hatchett jumped 8% to a 1.3. Twentieth's Cristina's Court, Sony's Judge Maria Lopez, Sony's Judge David Young and Radar Entertainment's Jury Duty were all unchanged at a 1.1, 0.8, 0.8 and 0.3, respectively.

In access, CBS' Entertainment Tonight had the biggest increase of any strip in access, gaining 10% from the prior week to a 4.3, after getting a 15% boost April 3 with news of Beyoncé’s and Jay-Z's secret wedding. CBS' Inside Edition, in second place, was unchanged at a 3.0. NBCU's Access Hollywood and Warner Bros.' rookie, TMZ, were both flat at a 2.2. CBS' The Insider was the only other magazine to improve, gaining 5% to a 2.1. Warner Bros.' Extra held steady at a 1.8.

Among the games, CBS' Wheel of Fortune fell 3% to a 7.7 but was up 3% from last year. CBS' Jeopardy! jumped 3% to a 6.2. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire climbed 7% to a 2.9. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud improved 5% to a 2.0 and also was up 11% from the same week last year. Program Partners' Merv Griffin’s Crosswords fell 11% to a 0.8, while Twentieth's Temptation was unchanged at a 0.5.

Among the off-net sitcoms, Warner Bros.' rookie leader, Two and a Half Men, climbed 4% to a 5.4. Twentieth's Family Guy fell 4% to a 4.4. Sony's Seinfeld was down 2% to a 4.0. CBS' Everybody Loves Raymond dropped 5% to a 3.6. Warner Bros.' George Lopez, in fifth, dipped 3% to a 3.3. Sony's King of Queens declined 7% to a 2.8, tying Warner Bros.' Friends, which was flat.