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Syndication Ratings: Sitcoms, Magazines Excel in Access

Off-network sitcoms came roaring back in the week ending Jan. 13, while entertainment magazines continued to get a ratings bump from Britney Spears’ bizarre behavior.

Warner Bros.’ rookie Two and a Half Men hit a series high, moving up 23% to a genre-dominating 5.3 live-plus-same-day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research. Twentieth Television’s fellow rookie, Family Guy, climbed 18% to a 4.6. CBS’ Everybody Loves Raymond was in third at a 4.1, up 11%. Sony’s Seinfeld soared 18% to a 3.9. Sony’s King of Queens climbed 6% to a hit a season-high 3.3. Warner Bros. rookie George Lopez improved 19% to hit its own series-high 3.2. And Warner Bros.’ Friends climbed 11% to a 3.0.

Also in access, CBS’ Entertainment Tonight, the genre leader, jumped 9% from the prior week to a 4.8. A Jan. 7 report on pop singer Spears leaving the hospital after an apparent mental breakdown spiked the show’s ratings to a 5.3. ET also celebrated a milestone this week, extending its winning streak to 600 consecutive weeks.

Most of the other magazines had a good week, as well. CBS’ Inside Edition jumped 13% to a 3.5. The Insider gained 14% to a 2.4, tying NBC Universal’s Access Hollywood, which fell 4%, the only magazine to move downward on the week. Warner Bros.’ Extra climbed 11% to a 2.0. And Warner Bros.’ TMZ, the rookie leader, was up 12% to a 1.9.

Elsewhere in access, game shows were mixed. CBS’ Wheel of Fortune was up 11% to a season high 8.3. CBS’ Jeopardy! jumped 5% to a 6.7. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire dipped 3% to a 3.1. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud lost 14% to a 1.8. Among the two rookies, Program Partners’ Crosswords plunged 20% to a 0.8, while Twentieth’s Temptation tumbled 17% to a 0.5.

In daytime, CBS’ Judge Judy remained on a roll, scoring a new season high 5.3, up 6% both week to week and year to year. The show was the only strip in first-run syndication to be up over last year at this time and the only daytime strip to score a new season high.

The other 10 court shows were all down or flat. CBS’ Judge Joe Brown was down 3% to a 2.9. Warner Bros.’ People’s Court was flat at a 2.6. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis was down 9% to a 2.1. Twentieth’s Divorce Court and Judge Alex tied at a 1.8, down 19% and 5%, respectively. Sony’s Judge Hatchett fell 7% to a 1.3. Twentieth’s Cristina’s Court lost 14% to a 1.2. Sony’s Judge Maria Lopez fell 11% to a 0.8. Sony’s rookie, Judge David Young, dropped 9% to a 1.0. And Radar Entertainment’s fellow court newcomer, Jury Duty, dropped 33% from a 0.3 to a 0.2.

In talk, three shows were up on the week. CBS’ The Oprah Winfrey Show jumped 15% to a 5.4 to regain a commanding lead of the talkers. CBS’ Dr. Phil also climbed 15% to hit a 4.6, the show’s best ratings in five weeks. Finally, Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres gained 10% to a 2.2.

As for the rest of the talk pack, Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis and Kelly was off 6% to a 2.9. CBS’ Rachael Ray held steady at her season-high 2.1. NBCU’s Maury dropped 10% to a 1.9. CBS’ Montel Williams lost 12% to a 1.5. NBCU’s Jerry Springer sank 14% to a 1.2. Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks dipped 8% to a 1.1, tying NBCU’s Martha Stewart, which was flat.

Among the rookie talkers, Twentieth’s The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet came off a series high to fall 17% to a 1.0. NBCU’s fellow freshman talker, The Steve Wilkos Show, was unchanged at a 0.9.