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Syndication Ratings: Sheen Coverage Sends Syndie Mags Flying

Charlie Sheen's manic media tour sent the ratings for syndicated magazines soaring in the week ending Feb. 27.

CBS Television Distribution's leader Entertainment Tonight advanced 3% to a 4.0. CTD's Inside Edition, in second place, improved 14% to a 3.3. NBC Universal's Access Hollywood gained 5% in households to a 2.0, and also added 17% among young women 18-34. That tied Warner Bros.' TMZ, which has been at the forefront of the Sheen coverage, and added 5%. CTD's ET spin-off, The Insider, which just added Kevin Frazier as a co-anchor, held steady at its sweeps-high 1.8. Warner Bros.' Extra improved 6% in households to a 1.7, and added 14% among women 18-49.

Without IBM's game-show champion, Watson, ratings for CTD's Jeopardy! returned to normal levels, and was syndication's only first-run strip to lose ground this week. The quiz show declined 11% to a 6.4, but still notched a second-place household finish among all syndicated shows.

All of the other games finished higher. Syndication's top-rated show, CTD's Wheel of Fortune, rose 4% to a 7.8. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to be a Millionaire improved 5% to a 2.3. Debmar-Mercury Family Feud spiked 13% to a 1.8. Twentieth's Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader perked up 11% to a 1.0.

CTD's Oprah continued to lead the talkers, inching up 2% from the prior week to a 5.7. In second place, CTD's Dr. Phil was second, holding firm for the week at a 3.1, and gaining 19% from last year. Disney-ABC's Live with Regis and Kelly was flat at a 2.6. Sony's Dr. Oz inched up 4% to a 2.4, tying Warner Bros.' Ellen, which improved 9%. NBCU's Maury picked up 5% to a 2.1. CTD's The Doctors grew 6% for the week to a 1.9. CTD's Rachael Ray whipped up a 6% rise to a 1.7. NBCU's Steve Wilkos was flat at a 1.4, tying NBCU's Jerry Springer, which gained 8%. Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams was flat at a 1.1. 

For the 754th week in a row, CTD's Judge Judy was the top court room, edging up 2% to a 4.6. In second place, CTD's Judge Joe Brown gained 11% to a 2.1, including a 26% bump to a 2.4 for an episode on Feb. 21 in which a man sued his ex-girlfriend and her mother for destroying his stuff after he left her for the former's girlfriend's friend. 

Warner Bros.' pair of courts -- People's Court and Judge Mathis -- each were flat at a 1.9 and 1.6, respectively. Twentieth's Judge Alex, which hit a new season low in the prior session, rebounded with a 27% increase to a 1.4. Twentieth's Divorce Court gained 8% to a 1.3, while Warner Bros' Judge Jeanine Pirro trailed with an unchanged 1.0.

Among the first-run rookies, CTD's Swift Justice with Nancy Grace remained the leader with an 8% jump to a 1.4. Sony's Nate Berkus, Twentieth's Don't Forget the Lyrics, Litton's Judge Karen's Court and Entertainment Studios' America's Court with Judge Ross all were flat at a 1.0, 0.7, 0.6, 0.3, respectively.

Meanwhile, NBC U's slow roll-out Access Hollywood Live continued to improve on its year-ago time period average, gaining 10% on the week with a 1.1/4, in its 13 metered markets for the week ending March 2. The show also grew 75% over last year among women 18-49 to a 0.7/5.

Among the new off-net and off-cable strips, Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother, which CBS just renewed for two more years, was flat at a 2.5. Warner Bros.' New Adventures of Old Christine gained 8% to a 1.3. Debmar-Mercury's Meet the Browns was up 10% to a 1.1. Warner Bros.' off-HBO Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm and NBCU's off-Bravo Real Housewives all were unchanged at a 0.7, 0.7 and 0.5, respectively. 

Off-net sitcoms were mostly down. Warner Bros.' sitcom leader, Two and a Half Men, remained unaffected by the Sheen show, dipping just 2% to a 5.9. Twentieth's Family Guy inched up 2% to a 4.1. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond dipped 4% to a 2.7. Disney-ABC's My Wife and Kids retreated 7% to a 2.5, tying Sony's Seinfeld, which fell 4%. NBCU's The Office lost 4% to a 2.4. Twentieth's King of the Hill rose 5% to a 2.1, tying Warner Bros.' George Lopez, which was unchanged at a 2.1. Warner Bros.' Friends advanced 11% to a 2.0, while CTD's Everybody Hates Chris was up 7% to a 1.6.