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Syndication Ratings: Sports Spotlight

The start of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games combined with golf’s PGA Tournament to make summer’s dog days even tougher for syndies in the week ending Aug. 10.

CBS’ Rachael Ray, however, was one bright spot. Rachael boasted talk’s biggest increase, jumping 13% to a 1.7 live-plus-same-day national household rating, according to Nielsen Media Research, for the week. The show spiked 20% Aug. 4 with a repeat featuring actor Alan Alda. Rachael was also the only talker to not decline year-to-year.

Only two other talkers gained ground. CBS’ Oprah was up 5% to a 4.3, while Warner Bros.’ Tyra Banks improved 11% to a 1.0.

CBS’ Dr. Phil fell 11% to a 3.4, ending his three-week run of weekly increases. Disney-ABC’s Live with Regis and Kelly, NBC Universal’s Maury, Warner Bros.’ Ellen DeGeneres -- the host of which recently married her girlfriend, actress Portia de Rossi -- and CBS’ Montel Williams were all unchanged at 2.7, 1.8, 1.6, 1.1, respectively.

NBCU’s Jerry Springer fell 9% to a new season-low 1.0, tying Tyra and Twentieth Television’s rookie, The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, which was flat. NBCU’s Steve Wilkos dropped 11% to a 0.8, tying NBCU’s Martha Stewart, which was unchanged.

Elsewhere, only one magazine increased from the prior week. CBS’ The Insider improved 6% to a 1.9 after a report on movie star Morgan Freeman’s divorce and spectacular rollover car crash drove ratings up 17% to a 2.1 Aug. 6.

Warner Bros.’ rookie TMZ, also at a 1.9, dropped 5%.

At the top of the magazine list, CBS’ Entertainment Tonight averaged a 3.5, dipping 3%. That was followed by CBS’ Inside Edition, unchanged at a 2.6. NBCU’s Access Hollywood slipped 6% to a 1.7 in fifth place, and Warner Bros.’ Extra, which was widely pre-empted on Friday night for Olympics coverage, was flat at a 1.6.

CBS’ court leader, Judge Judy, remained well ahead of the pack, dipping 2% to a 4.4. CBS’ Judge Joe Brown declined4% to a 2.3, tying Warner Bros.’ People’s Court, which was flat. Warner Bros.’ Judge Mathis, Twentieth’s Divorce Court, Twentieth’s Judge Alex and Sony’s Judge Hatchett were all flat at a 1.8, 1.5, 1.5 and 1.1, respectively.

Twentieth’s Cristina’s Court gained 10% to a 1.1. Sony’s Judge David Young rose 13% to a 0.9. Sony’s Judge Maria Lopez and Radar Entertainment’s Jury Duty were flat at a 0.8 and 0.2, respectively.

Among game shows, CBS’ Wheel of Fortune climbed 5% to a 6.7. CBS’ Jeopardy! was unchanged at a 5.5. Disney-ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was up 8% to a 2.8. Debmar-Mercury’s Family Feud fell 6% to a 1.7. Program Partners’ Merv Griffin’s Crosswords and Twentieth’s Temptation each were flat at a 0.8 and 0.5, respectively.

Several off-net sitcoms had minor gains, although Warner Bros.’ leader, Two and a Half Men, was unchanged at a 4.5. Twentieth’s Family Guy rose 3% to a 3.9. Also gaining 3% were Sony’s Seinfeld, which hit a 3.4, and CBS’ Everybody Loves Raymond, which managed a 3.0. Warner Bros.’ George Lopez fell 6% to a 2.9. Warner Bros.’ Friends dropped 4% to a 2.6, tying Sony’s King of Queens, which was unchanged.