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Syndication Ratings: Syndies Find Lump of Coal in Christmas Stockings

Many syndicated shows found lumps of coal in their Nielsen
stockings for the Christmas week ending Dec. 27.  Of course, most strips were in reruns and
were subjected to heavy preemptions in the holiday frame.  In addition, show-to-show rating comparisons
were somewhat misleading since some strips counted the full five days while
other dropped the low-rated Christmas Eve and Christmas day from their

Christmas ratings for talkers were mixed blessings.  CBS Television Distribution's (CTD) Oprah suffered her third straight weekly
loss, sliding 3% to 3.6.  Disney/ABC's Live With Regis and Kelly inched up 4%
to 2.9.  CTD's Dr. Phil went into repeats and dropped 18% to 2.3.  Warner Bros.' Ellen Degeneres skidded 19% to 2.1. 
NBCU's Maury was up 11% to
2.0.  CTD's Rachael Ray rose 6% to 1.8. 
CTD's The Doctors fell 12% to
1.5.  NBCU's Jerry Springer rebounded 8% to 1.3. 
NBCU's Steve Wilkos climbed 9%
to 1.2.  Warner Bros.' Bonnie Hunt bounced back with a 13% gain
to 0.9.  NBCU's Martha Stewart cooked up another 0.7, remaining at her season high.

Court shows continued to be ruled by CTD's Judge Judy, which topped the first-run
daytime standings for the fifth week in a row, beating Oprah by 17%.  Week-to-week Judy was down 5% to 4.2, although it was
the sole courtroom to outperform last year's deliver, growing 2%.  CTD's Judge
Joe Brown
slipped 5% to 2.0.  Warner
Bros.' People's Court was flat at
1.9.  Warner Bros.' Judge Mathis was up 7% to 1.6. 
Twentieth's Judge Alex tumbled
13% to 1.3.  Twentieth's Divorce
faded 7% to 1.3.  Warner Bros.' Judge Jeannine Pirro advanced 10% to a new season-high 1.1.

Among newcomers, Sony's Dr.
had its rating reprocessed and withheld by Nielsen, leaving Twentieth's Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader as
the rookie champ in first run with a 7% promotion to a 1.6.  Debmar-Mercury's Wendy Williams plunged 15% to 1.1. 
Litton's Street Court trailed
with a flat 0.6. 

The Office was the
new off-net sitcom leader, despite a 10% decline to 2.7.  My Name
Is Earl
and Everybody Hates Chris
tied at a 1.8 with Earl sliding 10%
and Chris shedding 5%. 

Elsewhere, there were no first-run access strips up week-to-week.  CTD's Entertainment
was the highest-rated show on the magazine rack, losing 18% to a
3.7 but still improving 16% over last year at this time.  CTD's Inside
weakened by 18% to 2.8. 
NBCU's Access Hollywood was
down 5% to 2.1.  Warner Bros.' TMZ tumbled 14% to 1.8.  CTD's The
gave back 17% to 1.5.  Warner
Bros.' Extra deteriorated 21% to

CTD's Wheel of Fortune
hung on to the lead among game shows but skidded 8% to 6.6.  CTD's Jeopardy
was down 5% to 5.6.  Disney/ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire fell 8% to
2.4.  Debmar-Mercury's Family Feud and NBCU's Deal Or No Deal were flat at 1.3 and 1.2

Off-net sitcoms were mostly lower, with Warner Bros.' Two and a Half Men shrinking 14% down to
4.2.  Twentieth's Family Guy declined 9% to 3.2. 
Warner Bros.' George Lopez
slipped 4% to 2.7.  Sony's Seinfeld was down 7% to 2.5.  CTD's Everybody
Loves Raymond
and Twentieth's King of
the Hill
were unchanged at 2.5 and 2.3 respectively.  Warner Bros.' Friends fizzled 10% to 1.9.  House of Payne was up 6% to 1.8.  Frasier
was off 6% to 1.5.  Sony's King of Queens dropped 12% to 1.5.