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Syndication Ratings: Syndies Bounce Back in Time for May Sweeps

With the Boston bombings behind them and May sweeps in front of them, syndies bounced back in the week ending April 28, with almost every talk and court show up for the week. The May sweeps runs from April 25 through May 22.

CBS Television Distribution's talk leader, Dr. Phil, notched a 3.0 live plus same day rating, the show's best performance since the week of March 3 and up 7% from the prior week. Phil also grew 12% to a first place 1.9 in daytime's key demographic of women 25-54.

Disney-ABC's Live! with Kelly and Michael jumped 8% for the week and the year to a second place 2.6. Sony Pictures Television's Dr. Oz added 9% to a 2.4, tying Warner Bros.' Ellen, which was steady. NBCUniversal's Maury surged 11% to a 2.1.

CTD's Rachael Ray rallied 14% to a 1.6. CTD's The Doctors and NBCU's Steve Wilkos each advanced 17% to a 1.4. NBCU's Jerry Springer remained at a 1.3, while Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams picked up 8% to tie Springer. In addition, Williams and Wilkos had the greatest year-to-year gains of any talker, climbing 18% and 17%, respectively, from last year at this time.

Warner Bros.' Anderson Live leapt 29% from the prior week to a 0.9, while Debmar-Mercury's Jeremy Kyle came in last at a 0.5. Neither of those shows will return next season.

NBCU's Steve Harvey made the rookie race interesting, surging 14% to a 1.6 and closing the household gap on Disney-ABC's Katie, which declined 6% to a 1.7 after being the only talker in the plus column in the prior week. Katie has held the rookie household lead every week this season, but this is the closest the two shows have been since the week of March 25.

Among women 25-54, Harvey grew 11% to a 1.0, while Katie remained at a 0.9.

NBCU's Trisha, the other freshman that will return for season two, climbed 20% to a 0.6, matching its season high.

CTD's Jeff Probst and Twentieth's Ricki Lake, neither of which will return next year, posted a 0.7 and a 0.6, respectively.

CTD's Judge Judy more than tripled the rating between it and the second-ranked court show, CTD's Judge Joe Brown, earning a 6.8, up 10% from the prior week. That was good enough for Judy to take over as syndication's highest-rated first-run show, beating CTD's usual winner, Wheel of Fortune.

Judge Joe, which is ending its run, also recovered 10% from its season low in the prior session to a 2.2.
Warner Bros.' People's Court added a 13% to a 1.8, while Judge Mathis was flat at a 1.5. Twentieth's Judge Alex jumped 18% to a 1.3, while Divorce Court was flat at a 1.2. Entertainment Studios' America's Court spiked 17% to a 0.7, while newcomer Justice for All and We the People were unchanged at a 0.4 and a 0.2, respectively.

Magazines, which had resisted the downtrend in the previous week, held steady. Warner Bros.' TMZ was the standout, adding 11% for the week and 5% for the year, the biggest increases in the genre by both measures, to a 2.0.

CTD's category leaders Entertainment Tonight and Inside Edition each were steady at a 3.6 and 3.0, respectively. NBCU's Access Hollywood was the only magazine to decline, giving back 6% to a 1.7. Warner Bros,' Extra held firm at a 1.5. CTD's new omg! Insider was unchanged at a 1.4, while its omg! Insider Weekend soared 25% to a 1.0, its best number since the week of Feb. 4. Twentieth's Dish Nation remained at a 1.0.

CTD's Wheel of Fortune held steady at a 6.5, after four straight weeks of declines. CTD's Jeopardy! rebounded 4% from the prior week to a 5.9. Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud finished up 7% at a 4.6. Disney-ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire earned a 14% dividend, landing at a 2.4, while NBCU's rookie Baggage checked in with a 1.1, flat for the week.

In the metered markets, Warner Bros.' new interactive game, Let's Ask America, averaged a steady 1.7 rating/4 share in households and grew 25% among women 25-54 to a 1.0/4.

Warner Bros.' The Big Bang Theory topped all of syndication with a 7.0, up 6% for the week. Warner Bros' Two and a Half Men inched ahead 2% to a 4.7. Twentieth's Family Guy sank 9% to a new season low 3.2. Twentieth's How I Met Your Mother weakened 8% to a 2.3, tying King of the Hill, which was flat. SPT's Seinfeld was stable at a 2.1, tying Warner Bros.' Friends, which rose 5%. CTD's Everybody Loves Raymond receded 5% to a 1.8.