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Syndication Ratings: Regis Has Still Got It

Like most of daytime, Disney-ABC's Live! with Regis and Kelly isn't the ratings powerhouse it once was, but Regis Philbin can still attract a crowd.

After Philbin announced live on his show on Tuesday, Jan. 18, that this would be his last season, ratings for both Live and the entertainment magazines that covered the news shot up.

In the week ended Sunday, Jan. 23, Live improved 3% to a season-high 3.0 live plus same day rating, according to Nielsen. On announcement day, the show's ratings were even up over that, hitting a 3.1. The show also finished out the week with a kick, moving up to a 3.2 when Live was guest-hosted by movie star Ashton Kutcher, on hand to promote his new romantic comedy No Strings Attached.

Most of the entertainment mags remained at or hit season highs on the news. CBS Television Distribution's genre topper Entertainment Tonight remained flat at its season high 4.4. NBC Universal's Access Hollywood jumped 5% to a 2.1, equaling its prior season high and tying Warner Bros.' TMZ, which improved 5% to hit a new season high. CTD's The Insider improved 6% to a 1.9, the magazine's best showing in 11 weeks. Insider also was the only magazine up from last year at this time, adding 12% to its year-to-year tally. Warner Bros.' Extra also matched its season high, rallying 6% to a 1.8, matching its season high. In second place, CTD's Inside Edition, which is not primarily an entertainment magazine, was the only magazine to decline, dropping 6% to a 3.1. 

Live wasn't the only talker to improve on the week. CTD's Oprah, which featured TV's most influential woman taking her most-loyal audience members on a promised trip to Australia, climbed 9% to a 5.0 to lead daytime. 

Meanwhile, CTD's Dr. Phil, in third place, dropped back to earth, falling 15% to a 2.9 after setting nearly a two-year high in the prior week. Sony's Dr. Oz gained 4% to hit a new season high 2.8, nipping at Phil's heels. Warner Bros.' Ellen dropped 4% to a 2.4, while NBCU's Maury added 5% to a 2.2. CTD's The Doctors and Rachael Ray, NBCU's Jerry Springer and Steve Wilkos, and Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams all held steady at a 2.0, 1.8, 1.5, 1.5, and 1.2, respectively.

CTD's perennial number-two gaveler, Judge Joe Brown, was the only court show to hit a new season high, which it did for the second week in a row, advancing 5% to a 2.3, the show's strongest performance in 46 weeks. CTD's top court show, Judge Judy, returned 4% to a 4.7 after hitting a season high in the prior week. Warner Bros.' People's Court and Judge Mathis, and Twentieth's Judge Alex and Divorce Court all were flat, at a 2.0, 1.7, 1.5, 1.4, respectively, while Warner Bros.' Judge Jeanine Pirro improved 10% to a 1.1.

Among daytime's first-run rookies, CTD's Swift Justice with Nancy Grace remained in first place but dropped 7% from the prior week to a 1.3. Sony's Nate Berkus was unchanged at a 1.1. Twentieth's Don't Forget the Lyrics jumped 13% to a 0.9. Litton's Judge Karen's Court slid 14% to a 0.6. Entertainment Studios' America's Court with Judge Ross dropped 25% to a 0.3, after holding steady at a 0.4 for weeks.

Among the new off-net and off-cable strips, Twentieth's How I Met your Mother was down 4% to a 2.5. Warner Bros.' The New Adventures of Old Christine slipped 7% to a 1.3. Debmar-Mercury's Meet the Browns was unchanged at a 1.3. Warner Bros.' Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm both advanced 17% to a 0.7. NBCU's off-Bravo Real Housewives was steady at a 0.6.

Among the veteran sitcoms, Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men remained unaffected by star Charlie Sheen's very public personal problems, holding steady in top position at a 6.2. Twentieth's Family Guy edged up 2% to a 4.2. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond was flat 3.0. Sony's Seinfeld perked up 4% to a 2.8. Disney-ABC's My Wife and Kids lost 7% to a 2.7. NBCU's The Office and Warner Bros.' George Lopez each were unchanged at a 2.3 and 2.2, respectively. Twentieth's King of the Hill gained 5% to a 2.1, while Warner Bros.' Friends rose 6% to a 1.9.

Also in access, CTD's Wheel of Fortune led the games, dipping 1% from the prior week to an 8.0. Likewise, CTD's Jeopardy! slipped 2% to a 6.5. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire was flat at a 2.4, while Debar-Mercury's Family Feud faded 5% to a 1.8. Twentieth's Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader lost 9% to a 1.0.